Two former Tour de Yorkshire champions – Greg Van Avermaet and Serge Pauwels – have confirmed they will ride this year’s race as well as cycling legend Marianne Vos.
Van Avermaet was involved in a crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday but his CCC Team have confirmed he only suffered cuts and bruises and the 33 year old will definitely line up in Doncaster on Thursday to defend his Tour de Yorkshire title. He will be joined by team-mate Serge Pauwels who sealed an equally impressive victory back in 2017.
Vos meanwhile, is the most successful female rider of her generation with numerous national, world and Olympic titles on her impressive palmarès.
Van Avermaet (CCC Team) said:
“It’s always a nice feeling to line up at a race with number one on your back as defending champion. I’m looking forward to returning and trying to defend my title. It’s not an easy race by any means but I think we have a strong team and we can make another nice result.
“As a Classics rider, there are not many stage races where I have a realistic shot of winning the General Classification, but the stages at the Tour de Yorkshire suit me. There is no other race like it. The crowds are amazing, the atmosphere is really special, and the scenery is beautiful so that makes the race really stand out. It will also be a good chance to see the route for this year’s World Championships in race conditions, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Pauwels (CCC Team) said:
“My overall win at the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire is definitely one of the biggest wins of my career so far and I have always loved this race. I first did it in 2016 and I always enjoy coming back. I also finished on the podium with last year and I’m looking forward to racing in Yorkshire again with my team-mate as defending champion.”
Vos (CCC-Liv) said:
“I am looking forward to riding in Yorkshire. Last year I noticed on television that cycling is very much alive there. With a view to the World Championships in September, it will be extra nice to ride it, get a taste of the atmosphere, and to explore the course. It is the end of the spring season which has gone very well for me. I hope there will be a nice closing of my spring.”
Joining Vos in the CCC-Liv team will be Jeanne Korevaar, one of Holland’s up-and-coming talents. The 22 year old is excited to be riding in a world-class peloton that also includes the likes of Annemiek van Vleuten and Yorkshire’s own Lizzie Deignan, and extoled the reputation the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race has in the female peloton.
“It is great to go to Yorkshire. It is a new race for me and the team and we know the atmosphere is good: the organisation is huge, it is a big race. We go there to ride well as a team, and I want to show myself as well. The first stage of the women’s race is relatively flat and features the World Championships circuit, and on the second stage we’ll get to see hilly Yorkshire, very well known among cyclists. It will be a tough race, with an Ardennes-like course. We want to extend the positive line of the Ardennes classics to Yorkshire.”
Van Avermaet and Pauwels will join Mark Cavendish, Lizzie Deignan and whole host of world-class riders onstage at the Tour de Yorkshire Eve of Tour celebrations in Millennium Square in Leeds between 6-7pm on Wednesday 1 May. This free event offers fans the perfect chance to get close to the riders before racing begins.
Full details on the Eve of Tour Celebrations and all things Tour de Yorkshire can be found at http://letouryorkshire.com(external link)