TdY: This is Harrogate's day - what to expect
Showers and cool temperatures may have hit Harrogate but today is the day the Tour De Yorkshire arrives in the town centre with the likes of Lizzie Deignan, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish.
If the evidence of stage one yesterday from Doncaster to Selby is anything to go by, tjere will still be big crowds on Harrogate's spectacular 14k town centre circuit for both the women's and men's races in stage two, today, Friday.
The women's Harrogate leg kicks of at 11.10am when light rain still expected while the men's Harrogate leg kicks off possibly rain-free (according to forecasters) at 4.36pm on a circuit which will be the centre of the UCI Road World Championships for nine days in September.
The route the top cyclists will take in Harrogate town centre travels from West Park to Otley Road, then Beckwithshaw, Pot Bank, Pennypot Lane, Cornwall Road, Kent Road, Ripon Road, Swan Road, Crescent Road, Parliament Street then finishing at West Park.The circuit should take the riders from 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
Despite the weather conditions, the day is expected to be another success for the Tour de Yorkshire organisers.
Stage one was declared a big hit and a perfect advert for Yorkshire, its people and their spirit, by Welcome to Yorkshire Commercial Director Peter Dodd.
Mr Dodds said: "It was a fantastic day. Christian [Prudhomme] and I were blown away by the creativity communities showed to celebrate the race."We saw painted cows and sheep, miles of banners and bunting, and the thousands of schoolchildren lining the route to give an extra special reception.“Yes, it’s been damp weather but that didn’t dampen the Yorkshire spirit and fantastic images of the county have being broadcast right around the world.“The shops and eateries offered protection from the rain and looked absolutely packed as we drove through, and I’m sure Doncaster’s fantastic new Market Place must have experienced their busiest day ever. "The Tour de Yorkshire is Yorkshire’s greatest street party we’re delighted to see everyone getting involved."
Stage one winner and race leader Jesper Asselman said: “This is definitely the biggest victory of my career and I still can’t believe it. It’s really awesome and I will never forget today.“Yorkshire is an awesome place to ride your bike and the fans are always incredible. It’s fantastic that they came out in this weather and it gives you goosebumps to ride through crowds like that. It’s really cool to be here - like being in one of the Classics or the Grand Tours - the public are so enthusiastic. I will never forget today.”