The millions of spectators getting ready to line the route for the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire will have a special treat in store with organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO confirming the largest-ever publicity caravan and ambassadors tour.
This popular cycling tradition will see some of the county’s best-loved brands travel behind the women’s race on Thursday and Friday, and ahead of the men’s race on Saturday and Sunday in a spectacular parade of specially decorated vehicles who will excite the crowds by handing out freebies and keepsakes at numerous locations along the route (full details of partners and timings are listed below).
This year’s caravan will be a record 30 vehicles long (up from 18 in 2017) and cycling fans will also be able to meet some of the legends of the sport - our Tour de Yorkshire ambassadors - as they travel behind the cavalcade, greeting fans and posing for photographs. The ambassadors tour will be compered by one of Britain’s greatest former professional cyclists, Hugh Porter MBE.
Joining Hugh will be Mirfield’s Brian Robinson, the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France, Denise Burton-Cole, world-class rider and daughter of the legendary Morley cyclist Beryl Burton, and Barry Hoban, from Wakefield, who won eight stages of the Tour de France between 1967 and 1975.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “The publicity caravan is always a fun and light-hearted way to get roadside spectators excited before the riders pass, and this year’s procession is by far the largest we have ever assembled.
“We’ve got some amazing brands taking part, as well as the Consulate of Pakistan and the official Tour de Yorkshire artist Lucy Pittaway, so it’ll be a superb spectacle not to be missed.
“We’re also delighted to welcome our wonderful race ambassadors back and their presence will help make this year’s Tour de Yorkshire one to remember.”
Participants in the publicity caravan include:
Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries, Virgin Trains, Black Sheep Brewery, Soreen, Mug Shot, Global Autocare, Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Lucy Pittaway, Yorkshire Cycle Expo, Santos Tour Down Under, Twisted Automotive, the Consulate of Pakistan, Carthy and Black, Slingsby Gin, Fuel for School (The Real Junk Food Project), Harrogate Spring Water, Holdsworth Racing and vintage Jowett cars.
The stop-off locations and approximate timings for the publicity caravan and ambassadors tour are:
Saturday 5 May:
The caravan will stop at Richmond (11:00), Catterick (11:06), Bedale (11:26), Thirsk (12:44), Helmsley (13:27), Pickering (14:10), Filey (15:50) and Scarborough (16:31). The ambassadors meanwhile, will greet fans in Richmond, Leyburn, Northallerton, on the Côte de Sutton Bank, Côte de Silpho and Scarborough.
Sunday 6 May:
The caravan will stop at Halifax (10:05), Pecket Well (10:21), Cross Hills (11:02), Skipton (11:30), Masham (13:26), Pateley Bridge (14:09), Otley (15:01) and Leeds (15:53). The ambassadors meanwhile, will greet fans in Halifax, Pecket Well, on the Côte de Goose Eye, Côte de Barden Moor, Kettlewell, Côte de Greenhow Hill, Côte de Otley Chevin.
Full details on the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race can be found at the Tour de Yorkshire website.
Welcome to Yorkshire has also launched its Tour de Yorkshire Land Art and Best Dressed Competitions. Full details on how to enter those can be found at the Tour de Yorkshire's land art web page and best dressed web page respectively.