Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK will race in the fifth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire, continuing an enviable and unbroken tradition for Cherie Pridham’s teams. The invitation from race organisers ASO and Welcome To Yorkshire offers further validation of her managerial skill and experience.
Pridham said that racing in the Tour de Yorkshire would be “an honour and a privilege“ and vowed that Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK would not roll out in Doncaster on Thursday May 2, 2019 merely to take part.
“I’m delighted that Vitus Pro Cycling Team, powered by Brother UK has been invited to race in the fifth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire. To compete again in a race formed as a legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ of the Tour de France, and against some of the biggest teams in the world, will be an honour and privilege. We will come to be competitive and to make the most of the opportunity.”
While Pridham’s squad selection for the Tour de Yorkshire is far from finalised, three of her biggest closed-season signings hail from Yorkshire. The opening stage will start in Doncaster, the home of Graham Briggs. Stage two sets off from Barnsley, the home of triple Olympic champion Ed Clancy. Scott Thwaites, signed from the UCI WorldTour, hails from Burley in Wharfdale.
This year’s race will comprise four stages. The opening engagement, from Doncaster to Selby, will take the riders on 189km route that, after a rolling profile at the mid-point, flattens at Pocklington for a fast run to the finish in Selby.
Stage two from Barnsley to Bedale follows a flat, 137km route which includes a sprint section in Harrogate that will also feature in the World Championship course this September. Several of Pridham’s riders excel on fast, flat finishes, and stage two has a profile ideally suited to their characteristics.
Short, sharp, leg-sapping climbs are the principle feature of stage three. The profile generated by the 132km route from Bridlington to Scarborough is reminiscent of an Ardennes Classic, and seems well suited to the core of strong men around whom Pridham has built her squad.
The final stage from Halifax to Leeds offers no gentle conclusion to an exhausted peloton. Instead, Pridham’s team and their rivals will face a 175km route littered with climbs, including the Cote de Park Rash, whose hairpins offer a peak gradient of 25 per cent.
Last year, Welcome To Yorkshire estimated a roadside crowd of some 2.6m people, over the four days of the race. A huge live audience, combined with live, all-day coverage on national television makes the Tour de Yorkshire a hugely valuable proposition for the team’s sponsors. Pridham said she was delighted to be able to offer such wide-scale exposure to her commercial supporters.
“We’re immensely fortunate to have gained the support of a diverse, but complimentary range of sponsors, headed by Vitus Bikes and Brother UK. I’m delighted that we can offer a platform as prominent as the Tour de Yorkshire to celebrate their involvement with the team and determined that we’ll repay their faith with our performances,” she said.