Mark Cavendish set to race Tour de Yorkshire in 2018


The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire will not be visiting Bridlington, but cycling enthusiasts will not have far to travel to catch a glimpse of the star names.

It will be the first time the city's centre has been closed off for an worldwide race since the 2014 Tour de France.

The race will take place on the same day and similar roads to the opening two stages of the men's race, meaning that the victor will be crowned on the uphill finish in Ilkley on May 4.

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"Getting the fourth day is a major thing for us", said Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of race organisers Welcome to Yorkshire.

Sprint specialist Cavendish, world road race champion in 2011, switched to the track for Rio 2016 and won his first Olympic medal, a silver in the omnium.

The Tour de Yorkshire is a legacy event of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, when Cavendish was favourite to win the opening stage in his mother's home town of Harrogate, only to crash within sight of the finish line.

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The women's race, doubles from one, to two days for the 2018 edition and will take place on 3-4 May.

Yorkshire is due to host the 2019 World Road Championships, when Harrogate will serve as the main hub for race finishes.

The Dimension Data rider will be hoping for better luck on stages one and three of next year's Tour de Yorkshire, which feature flat finishes in Doncaster and Scarborough which should give Cavendish a chance of victory.

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Last year's Tour de Yorkshire victor Serge Pawels was effusive in his praise of the Yorkshire crowds, putting them in the top three in the world for getting behind the riders and creating an atmosphere.