The Tour de Yorkshire will visit Ilkley once again in 2018, cementing the town’s place among the county’s cycling elite. The annual two-wheeled celebration has added an extra day to its schedule, and the Ilkley Tour de Yorkshire stage will take place on the 4th May 2018. Other towns hosting a start or finish in the 2018 event are Barnsley, Beverley, Doncaster, Halifax, Leeds, Richmond and Scarborough. Here’s what to expect for the Tour de Yorkshire Ilkley 2018 stage.
Tour de Yorkshire Ilkley 2018 Route
Ilkley will provide the end of both the women’s and the men’s race on Friday 4th May 2018. Riders will set off from Barnsley before moving up to West Yorkshire and past Harewood. From there, they’ll pass Pool-in-Wharfedale, head through Otley and take in Weston and Askwith before entering Ilkley past the Lido. The final stretch sees them head up Brook Street and turn towards the Cowpasture Road before heading up to the Cow and Calf for the race’s first ever summit finish.
Tour de Yorkshire Ilkley Times
The women’s race finishes at the Cow and Calf just after 12:20pm, with the men’s race concluding at around 5:50pm.
Tour de Yorkshire Ilkley 2018 Road Closures
Cowpasture Road (from the mini-roundabout by the entrance to The Craiglands) and Hangingstone Lane (to the Cow and Calf) will close from 10pm on Thursday 3rd May. Moor Lane between Burley and the Cow and Calf will also shut from 10pm.
Denton Road and New Brook Street will close as the races arrive, opening again after each has passed. The Grove will close at 5am on the day of the race, as it will host entertainment for spectators.
Brook Street, Station Road and Springs Lane and the rest of Cowpasture Road will be closed between 5am and 10pm. Traffic on the A65 will not be able to pass through town for a period of time during the height of the action in both races.
Ilkley Tour de Yorkshire History
The event that sowed the seeds for the Tour de Yorkshire was the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which came through LS29 in July 2014. The first two of three UK stages before it hit France were Yorkshire-based, and the enthusiasm from the supporters who lined the streets of God’s Own County, not to mention the gorgeous scenery and challenging routes, led to Welcome to Yorkshire instigating an annual tour of its own.
Here’s is the TdF as it passed Burley-in-Wharfedale on the A65:
2015 Tour de Yorkshire
Stage 3 of the first ever Tour de Yorkshire saw the riders make their way through Addingham before a sprint down the Grove in Ilkley and a climb to the Cow and Calf. From there, the peloton turned down Bingley Road in Menston and continued on towards Leeds.
2016 Tour de Yorkshire
The second Tour didn’t hit LS29, but Stage 2 set off from Otley on its way to Doncaster.
2017 Tour de Yorkshire
2017’s edition of the event began in Bradford and passed Menston, and the world’s most rock ‘n’ roll road sign, on the A65. It travelled down Main Street in Burley-in-Wharfedale before rejoining the A65 and continuing through Ilkley. The riders left the main road to take in Addingham, for which the Tour de France ducks returned, painted permanently this time on Main Street.
Ilkley’s Cycling Pedigree
Ilkley is a cycling town. Full stop. Despite the recent sad news that Ilkley Cycles is closing, the town lives and breathes for two-wheeled action.
Cyclewear sensation Fat Lad at the Back is based in Ilkley and the Commute coffee house on Leeds Road combines brews and butties with bike maintenance and cycling events. On a weekend, the roads of LS29 are chockablock with riders and the outside tables at La Stazione are similarly crammed with lycra-clad folks from across Yorkshire and beyond.
Team Dimension Data pro Scott Thwaites is from Burley-in-Wharfedale and Tour de Yorkshire 2017 women’s race title holder Lizzie Deignan is from just down the road in Otley. In addition, Ilkley Cycle Club boasts more than 1,000 members and promotes the sport in the local area.
Tour de Yorkshire Ilkley 2018 Parking and Public Transport
The railway station will be open as usual, but Ilkley bus station will relocate for the day. If you plan to drive, you will be able to park on East Holmes fields, by the rugby club.
One suggestion to avoid actually driving in to Ilkley is to park in Burley, Menston or one of the other nearby villages (potentially even Saltaire) and walk up onto the moor. If you are able, it could help you make a day of it, disperse some traffic and bring you out at the finish line.