Olympic champion to ride Tour de Yorkshire

Greg Van Avermaet, centre, with his Olympic gold medal.
Greg Van Avermaet, centre, with his Olympic gold medal.

Reigning Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet is the latest star cyclist confirmed to ride the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.

Van Avermaet is one of the biggest names in the sport who has also won two Tour de France stages, the 2017 Paris-Roubaix title, and numerous other accolades alongside his Rio 2016 success.

It will be the first time the 32-year-old BMC Racing rider has competed in Yorkshire since 2015 when he finished seventh overall and secured second place behind his then team-mate Ben Hermans on the final stage into Leeds.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity is thrilled to have another world-class rider on the start list and believes this year’s Tour de Yorkshire is shaping up to be the biggest and best one yet.

He said: “It’s fantastic news that Greg will be competing and he is sure to receive a very warm welcome.

“He is one of the most exciting, classy and respected riders in the sport and will no-doubt animate the four days of racing. The final stage should certainly suit him and I look forward to seeing him in action.”

This year the popular race peloton comes through Warter, Pocklington, Allerthorpe, Melbourne, Seaton Ross and Holme on Spalding Moor on Thursday 3 May.

The first classified climb is expected at Baggaby Hill (4.07pm) and will get the cyclists’ legs pumping before a brisk descent into Pocklington for the opening intermediate sprint at 4:12pm.

After passing the feed zone at Holme on Spalding Moor (4:44pm) the pace will gradually ramp up again for a second sprint in Howden at 4:59pm.

It’s then full steam into Doncaster on the newly opened Great Yorkshire Way with the first day’s race finishing at around 6.20pm.

The women’s opening stage gets going in Beverley at 8:40pm and will follow the same route as the men once they have returned to Beverley.

The women will contest the Cote de Baggaby Hill at 9:53am just before the first intermediate sprint comes in Pocklington at 9:57am.

The second sprint in Howden should take place at 10:50am and the action is scheduled to reach its conclusion in Doncaster at 12:19pm.

These timings have been calculated by anticipating the peloton’s average speed but are subject to change depending on variables such as wind speed, direction and how aggressively the riders race.