Tour de Yorkshire preview: 2015 champion Lars Petter Nordhaug of Team Sky amongst race favourites

The Tour de Yorkshire continues to go from strength-to-strength with a number of high-profile riders taking to the Yorkshire roads this weekend

Tour de Yorkshire preview: 2015 champion Lars Petter Nordhaug of Team Sky amongst race favourites
Lars Petter Nordhaug celebrates winning the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire (image via: SkySports)

Whilst British Cycling continues to come under scrutiny following the dismissal of technical director Shane Sutton, this weekend's Tour de Yorkshire gives the sport of cycling an opportunity to remind people why it's notoriety in the country has continued to rise. 

Following on from the debut of the three-stage event last year, the second-running of the Tour de Yorkshire has seen a number of star names in the sport decide to participate in the race. 

Team Sky will be heavily supported by the home crowd, with 2015 champion Lars Petter Nordhaug returning to defend his title for the British team. 

Tough route takes riders from Beverley to Scarborough over three-days

Stage One of the race takes the riders from Beverley to Settle in a 185km day's worth of racing. The opening stage of the race which takes place on Friday, will go through Wetherby before heading over the Cote de Greenhow Hill around 30km out from the finish in Settle.

Stage Two takes in a shorter 136km route from Otley to Doncaster, with three recognised climbs. The Cote de Harewood and Cote de East Rigton will be ascended and descended in the opening 20km of the stage, before the Cote de Coinsborough Castle meets the riders just after the intermediate sprint into Warmsworth, ahead of the finish into Doncaster. 

Stage Three on Sunday should see a sprint finish into Scarborough, following the 198km route from Middlesborough. On a stage which will include some beautiful camera shots showing the best of North Yorkshire, riders in contention for the overall title will be looking to keep themselves at the head of the race. 

Barguil amongst riders to watch out for

Of the 18 teams competing, eight of them are British which should help to keep a relatively local feel to the peloton.

Bradley Wiggins is among the big names to take part in the Tour de Yorkshire (image via: sky)

The biggest name taking part is Sir Bradley Wiggins, who will be riding for Team Wiggins alongside other Brits Owain Doull and Andy Tennant. The aim for Wiggins won't be to win the overall race, but putting miles in his legs ahead of his push for Olympic medals over the Summer. Adam Yates of ORICA GreenEdge and Peter Kennaugh & Luke Rowe of Team Sky are also well known by British fans.

Warren Barguil, who finished 14th in the Tour de France last year is amongst the big names taking to the Yorkshire roads this weekend. One Pro Cycling sprinter Matt Goss will fancy grabbing a stage win if a bunch sprint takes place, while the veteran Tommy Voeckler of the Direct Energie team will be a recognisable face in the peloton.