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Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Tadcaster to Harrogate

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Bouhanni sprints to win

Bouhanni wins Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Nacer Bouhanni wins Stage 2 in Harrogate, photo by SWPix.com

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) sprinted up Parliament Street to a convincing win on Stage 2 of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire.

The day's 4-man break involved Connor Swift, James Gullen, Harry Tanfield, and Sebastien Mora Vedri. They were caught with around 20km to go, and then there were a number of attacks, including efforts by Thomas Voeckler and Janse van Rensburg.

The attacks didn't succeed, and it came down to a bunch sprint as the peloton swept down to the Conference Centre, then up Parliament Street. Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie) attempted to sprint to the line when he reached Betty's tea shop, but Bouhanni chased him down, and reached the finish line with a clear lead. Caleb Ewan left his effort too late, and could only take a distant second place.

This is a highlights video:

Women's Tour de Yorkshire: Lizzie Deignan wins in Harrogate

Lizzie Deignan wins women's Tour de Yorkshire 2017 in Harrogate

Lizzie Deignan (née Armitstead) wins women's Tour de Yorkshire in Harrogate, photo by SWPix.com

Lizzie Deignan had enough time in hand to savour victory as she crossed the finish line of the women's Tour de Yorkshire on West Park in Harrogate.

Deignan and Boels Dolmans team-mate Anna van der Breggen made a break from the rest of the field on the climb of the Côte de Lofthouse. Deignan then kicked on alone, and built a lead of 55 seconds by the finish.

She said, 'The race really suited me and I knew the roads better than anyone else, so I took advantage of that. With 15km to go, my Sports Director was telling me to save myself for the sprint, but I knew we still had some small climbs to go. I knew it wasn't going to come back together, so I went on the attack. I didn't dare believe I'd actually won the race until about 1km to go, though, because I felt like I was getting slower and slower.'

'The finish was so special and surreal, and it meant so much to me to receive such great support.'

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: route guide

Shaw Mills, on the route of Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Shaw Mills, on the route of Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Stage 2 of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire is 122.5km from Tadcaster to Harrogate. It will host a women's race, as well as Stage 2 of the men's Tour. 

The riders head north west from Tadcaster, via Boston Spa and Wetherby, then on to Knaresborough for the first intermediate sprint. They continue to Ripley and Pateley Bridge, pass Gouthwaite reservoir, then takcle the steep climb from Lofthouse (Côte de Lofthouse). The route passes Leighton reservoir, then reaches Masham. 

From Masham, Stage 2 takes in part of the route of Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France, heading via West Tanfield and North Stainley to Ripon. The second intermediate sprint is at the market place in Ripon. Beyond Ripon, the route passes Fountains Abbey, then approaches Harrogate via Bishop Thornton, Shaw Mills, Clint, Birstwith, and Hampsthwaite. The A59 takes the riders to the New Park roundabout, then they're on the same finishing route as for the Tour de France - along the A61 to the Royal Hall, and up Parliament Street to the finish line beyond Betty's, in front of the Hotel du Vin.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: maps

This is a map of Stage 2 of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire.

The stage route and profile are shown on this video:

This is Welcome to Yorkshire/Tour de Yorkshire's map of Stage 2:

Map of Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: timings

These are the estimated timings for the women's race on the Stage 2 route, and the estimated timings for Stage 2 of the men's race.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: the start at Tadcaster

John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster

John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster, by Tim Green, Flicker, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 2 starts on the newly reopened bridge over the river Wharfe in Tadcaster - the bridge which was partly washed away by floods in December 2015.

The neutralised section goes south west, around a loop of the A659 in the town centre, along Sutton Road, right on Woodlands Avenue, right on Garnet Lane/Station Road, then left on the A659 towards Boston Spa. The flag goes down and the racing starts on the A659 outside Tadcaster.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Tadcaster to Knaresborough

Wetherby Bridge over the Wharfe

River Wharfe, Wetherby, patterpics, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The riders follow the A659 to Boston Spa, then (as on Stage 1 of the 2016 edition of the Tour de Yorkshire) they turn right on Bridge Road, to cross the river Wharfe to Thorp Arch. They follow Wood Lane then turn left on Walton Road, going over the A1M and into Wetherby.

Kirk Deighton Hall

Kirk Deighton Hall, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

After crossing the Wharfe in Wetherby, they take High Street/North Street/Deighton Road B6164, which takes them to Kirk Deighton, North Deighton, and Little Ribston.

(The Ribston Pippin apple originated in Little Ribston - the seed was brought back from Normandy in the 1700s, and planted in Ribston Park. In the village of Little Ribston is St Helen's church. On the other side of the Nidd stands Ribston Hall, on an estate which was granted to the Knights Templar in 1217; the current manor house dates from the 1600s, and belongs to the Dent family.)

The race continues along the course of the river Nidd to Knaresborough.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: the intermediate sprint at Knaresborough

Waterside, Knaresborough

Waterside, Knaresborough, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2 comes into Knaresborough on the B6164, crosses the river Nidd, then joins the A59. This is where the first intermediate sprint takes place.

At Bond End, the route forks right on the B6165 alongside the Nidd Gorge. (Bond End is one of the most polluted places in the Harrogate District. North Yorkshire County Council's main plan to tackle this pollution is to build another road - optimistically called a 'relief road' - which would at best result in a marginal decrease in traffic in this pollution hotspot for a year or two, until a return to previous levels, while more traffic would be generated on the new road. Meanwhile, countryside which is loved and valued by local people would be degraded by the road. A plan to reduce congestion and pollution by inducing more traffic would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. The idea is culpably stupid, and should be stopped).

Nidd Gorge

The Nidd Gorge, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Knaresborough to Pateley Bridge

Boar's Head, Ripley, North Yorkshire

Boar's Head, Ripley, by Hedgehog Cycling

The B6165 leads to Ripley. Here, the race goes through the village on Main Street, past the Boar's Head and Ripley Castle.

New Inn, Burnt Yates

New Inn, Burnt Yates, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2 continues from Ripley on the B6165 to Bedlam, then up the hill to pass the New Inn just before Burnt Yates. It's a rolling road from Burnt Yates, wooded in places, which broadly follows the course of the river Nidd. It passes Summerbridge, Low Laithe, Wilsill, and Glasshouses on its way to Pateley Bridge.

Nidderdale Greenway extension to Pateley Bridge

High Street, Pateley Bridge

High Street, Pateley Bridge, by Hedgehog Cycling

The Nidderdale Greenway is a very popular cycling and walking route between Harrogate and Ripley, on the trackbed of an old railway line. The railway continued to Pateley Bridge, and there's a plan to extend the Greenway route the rest of the way there. Since the B6165 is hostile to cyclists, with twists and turns, narrow carriageways, and heavy traffic, it would be very welcome if the plan came to fruition. Read more about the Nidderdale Greenway extension to Pateley Bridge, and make a comment in support.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Pateley Bridge to Masham

Bridge at Pateley Bridge

The bridge at Pateley Bridge, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2 crosses the Nidd on Pateley Bridge, and continues north west to Gouthwaite reservoir, Ramsgill, and Lofthouse.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Côte de Lofthouse

Hill above Lofthouse

Looking back at Nidderdale from hill above Lofthouse, by Matt Buck, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

At Lofthouse, the Stage 2 route leaves the river Nidd, and heads north east, climbing steeply. This is the Côte de Lofthouse, the only categorised climb of the day. On the section with the most acute incline, the riders might wish they had a lower gear - I certainly have, when grinding up, wondering whether to get off and push.

The high point up on the moors is 429m, with Outster Bank (442m) to the right. It's beautiful scenery here, popular with cyclists and motorcyclists. The road descends steeply to Agill Beck, then climbs again the other side. Roundhill reservoir is to the right, then the road descends to Leighton reservoir, and crosses an arm of it. 

Next, the route crosses the river Burn, and goes through the villages of Healey and Fearby (mentioned in the Domesday Book as Federbi, with a population of eight), then on to Masham.

King's Head, Masham

King's Head, Masham, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Masham to Ripon

West Tanfield

West Tanfield on the river Ure, by Hedgehog Cycling

On the far side of Masham, the race route crosses the bridge over the river Ure to Little Burton. Here, it is on the route of Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France. The A6108 takes the peloton to West Tanfield and North Stainley (near Lightwater Valley and a Bird of Prey Centre).

North Stainley, the Old Coach House

The Old Coach House, North Stainley, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2 continues to Ripon for the second and final intermediate sprint on the stage. 

Ripon Cathedral from the market place

Looking towards Ripon Cathedral from the market place, by Hedgehog Cycling

The race arrives in the Little Studley area of Ripon, on the A6108. It takes North Street to Fishergate and Market Place West, where the intermediate sprint line will be sited. The riders then turn right on Westgate/Park Street, and fork left on Studley Road, which joins the B6265. 

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Ripon to Harrogate

The B6265 Studley Road crosses the river Laver and heads west, passing the turn to Studley Roger. 

Deer in Studley Park

Doe, Studley Royal deer park, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 2 turns left off the B6265 beyond the Studley Royal estate. It heads south and reaches the river Skell at the south west corner of the Fountain's Abbey/Studley Royal land. It then forks right on Hebden Bank, going past Sawley Hall. (According to Wikipedia, Sawley Hall was built in 1770; from 2009 to 2015, the estate was run by Liam Botham for the strange people who get their kicks out of shooting birds). The route continues steeply up through Hebden Wood, and past Raventofts Hall

Chequers Inn, Bishop Thornton

Chequers Inn, Bishop Thornton, by Hedgehog Cycling

From Raventofts Hall, the riders are on Fountains Abbey Road. They go past the Chequers Inn on the right, then turn right to Bishop Thornton.

Bishop Thornton sign

Bishop Thornton, by Hedgehog Cycling

It's then steeply downhill to Thornton Beck and the village of Shaw Mills, then up again to the New Inn crossroads near Burnt Yates (crossing the path taken by Stage 2 earlier in the day).

Bridge over Thornton Beck at Shaw Mills

Bridge over Thornton Beck at Shaw Mills, by Hedgehog Cycling

At the crossroads, the riders go straight across, onto Clint Bank. They descend to the river Nidd at Birstwith.

Cow on Clint Bank

Cow on Clint Bank, by Hedgehog Cycling

From Birstwith, they follow Wreaks Road then Elton Lane to Hampsthwaite, then Grayston Plain Lane up to the A59 Skipton Road. 

River Nidd at Hampsthwaite

River Nidd at Hampsthwaite, by Hedgehog Cycling

The race turns left on Skipton Road, and heads to the New Park (Little Wonder) roundabout on the northern edge of Harrogate. Here, the riders turn right on the A61 Ripon Road. They're now on the same run-in to the finish as for the 2014 Tour de France. 

The road goes up, down to the crossroads by the George Hotel, the Royal Hall, the International Conference Centre, and the tourist office, then up Parliament Street, and past Betty's (scene of Mark Cavendish's 2014 crash). 

Betty's Harrogate

The finish line is near the Hotel du Vin on West Park.

Hotel du Vin, Harrogate

Hotel du Vin, Harrogate, with a yellow door for the Tour de France 2014, by Hedgehog Cycling

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Beryl Burton cycleway

Beryl Burton cycleway

The Beryl Burton cycleway is a traffic-free cycle and foot path between Bilton Village Farm and the Nidd at High Bridge, Knaresborough. Read aboutthe Beryl Burton cycleway.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Tadcaster

John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster

Tadcaster is known as a brewing town.


Its history goes back to Roman times, when it was a staging post on the road to York (Eboracum). The Romans called Tadcaster 'Calcaria', referrring to the local limestone which they quarried. It was extracted and used in a later period to build York Minster.

There was a Norman motte and bailey castle here, built in the C11th. A wooden bridge crossed the Wharfe, but the first stone bridge was built in 1240; the present Wharfe bridge was built around 1700. The town's bridge was the scene of the Battle of Tadcaster (1642) during the English civil war.

Brewing in Tadcaster

Brewing in Tadcaster goes back to 1341, when tax registers record the presence of two brewhouses. It was a good location because of the quality of the water, which has been filtered through Yorkshire limestone, and bubbles up from springs known as popple-wells.

There are three breweries in Tadcaster at the moment - the Tower Brewery, John Smith's, and Samuel Smith's. Sam Smith's uses draft horses, which can be seen in the streets of the town.

Flood damage to the bridge

Tadcaster bridge was damaged by floods in December 2015. A pedestrian bridge was put in place fairly rapidly, but a repaired bridge open to traffic has been slow to complete. At the time of writing, it's scheduled to open in January 2017.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Boston Spa & Thorp Arch

All Saints church, Thorp Arch

All Saints, Thorp Arch, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Boston Spa is a village of 4,662 (2011 census).

It was established in 1744 by John Shires as a spa town, after he discovered magnesian limestone and sulphur springs. It attracted visitors and prospered until Harrogate's spa facilities became more popular.

Boston Spa has a Post Office and two pubs, the Admiral Hawke and the Fox & Hounds. 

British Library National Newspaper Building, Thorp Arch

National Newspaper Building (The British Library's National Newspaper Building, Boston Spa, Yorkshire), by Luke McKernan, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Thorp Arch, on the other side of the Wharfe, is several centuries older than Boston Spa. It had a Royal Ordnance Factory during World War II and until 1957. Part of the site is now the Northern Reading Room of the British Library, and the rest is Wealstun Prison and Thorp Arch Trading Estate. 

The pub in Thorp Arch is called The Pax. Leeds United's training ground and academy is on Walton Road, Thorp Arch.

Thorp Arch was mentioned in Northern Upholstery furniture adverts from the 1980s. They always seemed to have a sale on. The ads finished with the locations of the shops - Carcroft, Brigg, Thorp Arch, and Hull. If you want to catch the sale, you'll have to hurry:

Owner of the Segway company Jimi Heselden died at Thorp Arch after he allowed a dog walker to pass him on a narrow path, lost control of his Segway, and fell off a cliff.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Wetherby

Wetherby Town Hall

Wetherby Town Hall, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Wetherby is a market town by the A1, in the City of Leeds and the county of West Yorkshire. It was mentioned in Domesday Book as Wedrebi, meaning either ram-farm or settlement on the bend of the river. The population is 11,242 (2011 census).


The Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallers owned land in the area (Ribston Park), and in 1240 the Knights Templar were granted the right to hold a market in Wetherby, by Royal Charter from Henry III.

In the early 1300s, Wetherby was raided by the Scots, and the town was burned and many inhabitants killed or captured. 

The first mail coach arrived in Wetherby in 1786. The Great North Road passed through the town, and a large number of coaching inns were established to cater for travellers.

During World War II, there was an RAF station at nearby Tockwith, renamed RAF Marston Moor to avoid confusion with RAF Topcliffe. Clark Gable was stationed there. Part of the airfield is now used as a driver training centre.

Wetherby today

Wetherby cinema

Wetherby's Cinema, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Wetherby has some manufacturing, mainly on Sandbeck Way and Sandbeck Lane - for example, Goldenfry gravy brand. There's also a Young Offender Institution, a cinema, a racecourse, and several sports clubs, including football, rugby league, rugby union, cricket, bowling, golf, and tennis.

Crown Inn, Wetherby

The Crown, Wetherby, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

At one time, Wetherby had seventeen pubs, but only eleven now remain.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Pateley Bridge

High Street, Pateley Bridge

High Street, Pateley Bridge, by Hedgehog Cycling

Pateley Bridge is a small market town in Nidderdale, in the Harrogate Borough, with a population of 1,432 (2011 census).

It was first mentioned in a document in 1175. It belonged to the Archbishop of York, and in 1320, he granted a charter for a market and a fair. Until 1964, a railway line ran to Pateley Bridge.

Pateley Bridge has a large park, and a pool and leisure centre. It is home to the Nidderdale Museum, and on the route of the Nidderdale Way. As well as several pubs, it has the oldest sweet shop in England.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Masham

Black Sheep Brewery

Masham has a population of 1,142 (2015 estimate). Its name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, coming from Maessa's Ham, meaning homestead or village belonging to Maessa. 

A settlement was built here by the Angles, probably because the site is close to the river Ure, but rises just high enough above it to be safe from flooding. It is also on the old Roman road from York to Wensleydale. (Signs of a Roman presence, likely a marching camp, have been found at Roomer Common).

In about 900AD, Vikings invaded, and destroyed the church at Masham. The present church has the stump of a prayer cross from the 700s, but most of the structure is Norman, with some additions from the C15th. It was the Vikings who introduced sheep to the region.

Masham market place

The most striking feature of Masham is its very big market place (these days jammed with parked cars, like nearly all our streets and public places). The town was granted a charter for a market in 1250, and the market place needed to be large to accommodate the many sheep brought here by the monks of Jervaulx and Fountains Abbeys. The modern day market is on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Masham is known for it breweries - Theakstons and Black Sheep. The Theakson family had brewed Theakstons beer in Masham for six generations, but it was taken over by Scottish & Newcastle. Rather than work for a multi-national, Paul Theakston set up a new brewery in an old building (the former premises of Lightfoot's brewery) in Masham, and the Black Sheep Brewery was born in 1992. Black Sheep is available in many of the pubs in and around Masham. The brewery also has a visitor centre. 

The Theakston family regained control of Theakstons in 2003, and this brewery also has a visitor centre. Their best known beer is Old Peculiar.

Events in Masham include the Steam Engine & Fair Organ Rally, and the bi-anual Arts Festival.

Some of the route of Stage 2 is covered by this Daily Telegraph article, 'Great British Drives: Harrogate to Masham', which includes a mention of a visit to the Black Sheep Brewery and the White Bear Hotel.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: West Tanfield

West Tanfield

This is an ancient settlement, which was referred to as 'Tanefield' in the Domesday Book. 

The Marmion Tower is a historic feature of the village. Dating from the 1400s, it is a gatehouse which was part of a manor (which no longer exists) that once belonged to the Marmion family.

Harry, Kate, and William watched the 2014 Tour de France in West Tanfield.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: North Stainley

North Stainley  

North Stainley is a charming village of 518 people. There's accommodation at The Old Coach House, and Lightwater Valley Theme Park and Bird of Prey centre are very close by.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Ripon

Ripon Town Hall   

Ripon is said to be the 4th smallest city in England, with a population of 16,702 (2011 census). It is at the confluence of the rivers Laver, Skell, and Ure.


There was no known Roman presence at Ripon (the nearest military camp being at North Stainley). Ripon was founded by St Wilfrid during the Angle kingdom of Northumbria, around 658AD, at the time that he brought craftsmen from the continent to build the church of St Peter. The settlement was then known as Inhrypum.

The area was under Viking rule for a time. Following the Norman invasion, there was a rebellion in the north in 1069, which was suppressed ('the Harrying of the North'). Ripon suffered at this time, and its population was reduced.

In the 1100s, Ripon developed a wool trade, selling to Florentine merchants, and in the 1300s, it began making and selling cloth. In the 1500s and 1600s, Ripon became a specialist in spurs - hence the expression, 'as true steel as Ripon rowells.'

Ripon Hornblower

Ripon Hornblower  

During the time of Edward I and Edward II (1200s and 1300s), there were incursions by invaders from Scotland, and Ripon had a wakeman, who was responsible for the safety of the city, and enforcing a curfew. (Nevertheless, Ripon had to pay a sum of money to the Scots on one occasion to prevent them burning the city).

Ripon obelisk

The tradition of the wakeman lives on in the Ripon Hornblower. At 9pm, a horn is blown from the four corners of the obelisk on market square, in a ceremony known as 'setting the watch.' (It is claimed that this has happened every evening since 886AD). 

Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral  

The crypt of Ripon Cathedral dates from the mid-600s, when the first stone church was built here (dedicated to St Peter in 672AD). St Wilfrid was responsible for the first church, and he is interred in a tomb in the Cathedral. (He is also celebrated in the annual St Wilfrid's procession).

Subsequent churches were destroyed by the English king in 948, and during the Harrying of the North in 1069. Much of the present structure was built in the 1100s under Roger de Pont l'Eveque, but the Early English west front dates from the 1200s, and the nave was rebuilt in the 1500s and 1600s in Perpendicular style. It became a Cathedral in 1836.

Ripon's attractions

There has been racing in Ripon since 1664, but the current racecourse dates from 1900.

Close to Ripon are Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water garden and deer park.

Stage 2, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Studley Royal & Fountain's Abbey

Studley Royal, Choristers House & St Mary's church

Studley Royal Park includes the ruins of Fountains Abbey (founded by Cistercian monks in 1132; you pay an entrance fee to visit Fountains Abbey, but Studley Royal Deer Park is free).

Fountains Abbey & Fountains Hall

Fountains Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1132.

At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII (1539), the Abbey buildings and adjacent land were sold to Sir Richard Gresham. Later, Stephen Proctor bought them, and he built Fountains Hall between 1598 and 1604.

Studley estate

The Mallory family lived at Studley Royal from 1452. John Aislabie inherited the estate in 1693. He was involved in the South Sea Company, which failed disastrously, and after that, he devoted himself to the garden at Studley Royal. His son William united Studley Royal and Fountains by buying Fountains Abbey and Hall in 1742. (The Water Garden created by John and William Aislabie is in the paying part of the estate).

Studley Royal House burned down in 1946, but a large stable block (which dates from 1728-32) survived, and is now a private house.

The whole estate was bought by West Riding County Council in 1966, and by the National Trust in 1983.

John Smiths brewery, Tadcaster North StainleyBetty's Harrogate

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