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Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: race report

Serge Pauwels wins Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Serge Pauwels wins Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017, photo by SWPix.com

Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) won Stage 3 of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire, and with it, the overall race victory.

Pauwels made his break on the tough closing circuit, which involved four climbs. His lead went out to 33 seconds at its greatest. The chase from the reduced peloton behind was never sufficiently organised to catch him. Shortly before the finish, Pauwels' team-mate Omar Fraile was able to bridge across to him, and Fraile did a turn on the front, before giving way to Pauwels.

Fraile was second on the stage, and Jonathan Hivert (Direct Energie) third. Those three riders also make up the top three in the overall standings, in the same order.

Pauwels said, 'The support today was incredible. Over the winter, my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie to warm up for the Tour de France, but I said no, I want to do the Tour de Yorkshire. I can't believe I've won here. This is my first professional victory, and I am a little surprised with myself, because usually I prefer the longer climbs. Today's stage lent itself to a really explosive rider, and there were no moments of respite.'

'Today's stage was comparable to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but with perhaps even more people on the roadside.'

It is estimated that a million people turned out to watch the race come past. 

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: route guide

Côte de Midhopestones

Descent to Midhopestones, on the route of Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017 - photo by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 3 of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire is 194.5km from Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield. There are eight classified climbs, and two intermediate sprints.

The riders start at City Park, Bradford, and head to Salts Mill, Saltaire, then Shipley. The flag goes down and the racing starts as the race leaves Shipley. The race heads north via Guiseley and Menston, then continues to Burley-in-Wharfedale. Now the route is the same as part of Stage 1, Tour de France 2014, as it goes to Ilkley and Addingham. Next, it's on north to Bolton Bridge, Bolton Abbey, and Burnsall, then back south via Cracoe to Skipton. The route then echoes Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France, passing through Silsden, Keighley, and Haworth. Then, it goes on to Oxenhope, Queensbury (and the Côte de Shibden Wall), before it winds its way via Brighouse, and an intermediate sprint at Clifton, to Holmfirth. 

Stage 3 continues to Penistone, then a little further on it joins a finishing circuit with a sprint at Stocksbridge, and climbs at Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height, and Midhopestones. The finish is in Stocksbridge (Fox Valley, Sheffield). It's a fair guess that the riders will be jolly tired at the end of this day.

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: maps

This is a map of Stage 3 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 3:

Map of Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: timings & video preview

These are the estimated timings for Stage 3, based on projected average speeds of 39, 41, and 43kmh.

There's a video preview of the first part of Stage 3 with Russell Downing, and another of the second part of Stage 3 with Scott Thwaites.

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: the start in Bradford

Bradford Mirror Pool

Bradford mirror pool, by Rob Glover, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Stage 3 starts at City Park, in the centre of Bradford, at the Mirror Pool (known locally as the magic puddle).

The neutralised section begins on Tyrrel St, then continues north on Hustlergate/Market St/Cheapside/Manor Row/Manningham Lane/A650/Keighley Road/Bradford Road to Saltaire. Here, it takes Victoria Road/Caroline St/Exhibition Road, in order to pass close to Salt's Mill. 

Salt's Mill, Saltaire

Salt's Mill, Saltaire, Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

It then takes the A657 east to Shipley, and at the junction in the centre of Shipley, the route continues on the A6038 Otley Road. The flag goes down and the racing starts on the A6038 at Charlestown, in the outskirts of Shipley.

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Shipley to Skipton

Ilkley from Ilkley Moor

Ilkley from Ilkley Moor, by Hedgehog Cycling

The A6038 rises up New Hollins Hill, with the Hollins Hall Hotel on the left where Station Road leads to the village of Esholt on the right. A little further on, the riders reach White Cross, on the edge of Guiseley (location of the famous fish & chip restaurant Harry Ramsden's, now a Wetherby Whaler). From here, they're on the A65.

Harry Ramsden blue plaque, White Cross

Harry Ramsden plaque, White Cross, by Theo K, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The route passes Menston, and continues on the A65 to Burley-in-Wharfedale, where it follows Main St, the re-joins the A65 Ilkley Road. The race goes through Ilkley on the A65, then forks right into Addingham on Main St. 

The Crown Inn, Addingham

The Crown Inn, Addingham, by Hedgehog Cycling

In Addingham, it turns right on the B6160 Bolton Road, and follows the Wharfe to Bolton Bridge. 

Tea rooms, Bolton Bridge

Tea rooms at Bolton Bridge, by Hedgehog Cycling

From Bolton Bridge, Stage 3 stays on the B6160, passing Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey, by Steve Glover, Licence CC BY 2.0

It follows the river Wharfe past Barden Tower. 

Barden Tower

Barden Tower, by Afshin Darian, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 3 climbs to the Intake Plantation, then descends to the Wharfe at Burnsall. Just short of Threshfield, the route turns left on the B6265 through the village of Linton, then it goes past Swinden Quarry to Cracoe and Rylstone, on the way to Skipton.

Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle entrance, by Hedgehog Cycling

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Skipton to Brighouse

Castle Inn, Skipton

Castle Inn, Skipton, by Hedgehog Cycling

The race goes over the canal on Mill Bridge, then reaches the junction in the centre of Skipton near the castle. It turns right to go down the High St, then continues south on the A6131 then A629 Keighley Road, following the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. 

Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Bradley, near Skipton

Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Bradley, near Skipton, by Hedgehog Cycling

At Farnhill, the riders fork left on Main St/Grange Rd/Skipton Rd to Silsden, where they follow Woodside Rd/Vale View/Elliott St. They cross The Beck, then leave Silsden on Howden Rd/Holden Lane.

Holden Lane climbs sharply past Spring Crag Wood. This is the first categorised climb of the day, the Côte de Silsden. Beyond the summit, the riders turn right and descend to Riddlesden (where the National Trust property East Riddlesden Hall stands by the river Aire). In Riddlesden, they cross the canal and the river Aire, then take the B6265/A6035 into Keighley. 

East Riddlesden Hall

East Riddlesden Hall, by Helena, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

In Keighley, they turn left on the A629/South St, which runs alongside the river Worth, and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. The Tour de Yorkshire is on the route of Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 here.

Steam trains on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Steam trains on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, by Hedgehog Cycling

The race forks right on the A6033/B6142 Lees Lane to Haworth, where it crosses the railway and climbs Bridgehouse Lane/Main Street. The climb of the cobbles on Main St is the Côte de Haworth - the second categorised climb of the stage. 

Main St, Haworth

Main St, Haworth, by Hedgehog Cycling

At the top of the village, the route is left on North St/West Lane/Cemetery Rd, then left on Moorside Lane/Marsh Lane/Moorside Lane into Oxenhope. 


Oxenhope, by Hedgehog Cycling

The riders leave Oxenhope on the B6141 Denholme Rd to Leeming. There's a short, steep climb out of Leeming, which is called the Côte de Leeming (the third categorised ascent of the day), then the riders descend to the A629 on the edge of Denholme. They fork left shortly afterwards at Denholme Clough on the A644 to Queensbury.

Shibden Wall

Shibden Wall, by Tejvan Pettinger, Licence CC BY 2.0

Beyond Queensbury, they reach the A6036 Halifax Rd near Shelf, and turn right. At the next major junction, they turn right on Kell Lane, then left on Blake Hill, which turns into Lee Lane, where the categorised climb of Côte de Shibden Wall begins (the fourth of the day). (Halifax ski slope is on this hill).

Shibden Wall is one of the climbs in Simon Warrens' 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs:

The summit of Shibden Wall is at the Pule Hill junction, where the riders turn right on the Bradford Old Road. They cross Claremont Rd, and take Range Bank and Range Lane into Halifax.

The riders leave Halifax on Beacon Hill Road/Godley Branch Rd to Bank Top and Southowram. They continue on Church Lane/Brookfoot Lane to Brighouse.

Brighouse Basin

Brighouse Basin, by Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Brighouse to Stocksbridge


Bridge in Holmfirth, by Hedgehog Cycling

In Brighouse, Stage 3 goes along Gooder St, Commercial St, Briggate, Bethel St, A641 Huddersfield Rd, then leaves on the A643. The first of the day's intermediate sprints is at Clifton, just outside Brighouse. 

M62 near Hartshead Moor services

M62 near Hartshead Moor services, by Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

The A643 leads to Hartshead Moor Top (near Hartshead Moor services on the M62). The race crosses the M62 on the A649, then forks left on the A643 to Cleckheaton, Spen, Gomersal, and Birstall. (Jo Cox was MP for Batley & Spen, and was tragically murdered outside her constituency surgery in Birstall by racist Leave campaigner Thomas Mair during the EU Referendum campaign). 

St Lucius church, Farnley Tyas

St Lucius church, Farnley Tyas, by Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

In Birstall, the route swings south on the A62 which runs between Heckmondwike and Liversedge. It crosses the river Calder, forks left on the B6118, crosses the river Colne, then turns right on Dalton Bank Road. This takes the riders (one per bicycle) to Tandem, on the eastern edge of Huddersfield, where they join the A629 Penistone Rd. A couple of miles further on, they turn right on Woodsome Rd to Farnley Tyas, then they take Honley Rd to Honley.

Coach & Horses, Honley

Coach & Horses, Honley, by Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

Out of Honley, they follow the course of the river Holme, on the A6024 Woodhead Rd, to Holmfirth. There, they turn left over the bridge, and take the B6106 Dunford Rd to Longley, then on to Millhouse Green and Penistone.

Goats at the Penistone Show

Goats at the Penistone Show, by Bryan Ledgard, Licence CC BY 2.0

Leaving Penistone, the race is on the B6462 to Oxspring, Thurgoland, and on the A629 to Wortley. There's a right turn in Wortley on Finkle St Lane/Forge Lane. The route crosses the river Don, then climbs Well Hill/Green Moor Rd/Hunshelf Hall Lane/Tofts Lane to Snowden Hill. Here, the riders turn left to begin the finishing circuit. They'll make the first of two descents to Underbank Reservoir and Stocksbridge.

Underbank reservoir

Underbank reservoir, by Wendy North, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: the finishing circuit around Stocksbridge


Stocksbridge by Dave Pickersgill, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The race goes through Stocksbridge on the B6088. At the eastern end of Stocksbridge is Deepcar, and here the route turns sharp right up Carr Rd. This is the Côte de Deepcar (the fifth climb of the day), which reaches a height of 249m. Then it's down to Bolsterstone, and along the north bank of Broomhead Reservoir. 

Broomhead Reservoir

Broomhead Reservoir, by Hedgehog Cycling

The climbs come thick and fast now, and the next is the Côte de Wigtwizzle (the sixth of the stage). At the top, there's a right turn on Mortimer Rd, which takes the race down to Ewden Beck; from there, it climbs the Côte de Ewden Height (the seventh categorised climb of the day). 

Ewden Farm

Ewden Farm, part way up Ewden Height, by Hedgehog Cycling

The descent is to Midhopestones (on Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014, the route here was in the opposite direction, so the riders climbed this road, as the Côte de Midhopestones). The village of Midhopestones is at the western end of Underbank Reservoir.

Mustard Pot pub, Midhopestones

Mustard Pot pub, Midhopestones, by Hedgehog Cycling

The riders cross the A616 and climb towards Cranberry Farm at 311m - this climb is called the Côte de Midhopestones this time around, and it's the eighth and final one of the stage. They turn right on Cranberry Rd, and reach the junction at Snowden Hill where they rejoin the start of the finishing circuit. Now, all that remains is a descent of Underbank Lane to Stocksbridge, then a last run along the B6088 to the finish on Fox Valley Way.

This is a brute of a stage.

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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 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Bradford City Park & mirror pool

Bradford Mirror Pool

Bradford mirror pool, by Rob Glover, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Bradford City Park is a square in the centre of Bradford. 

In one part of City Park, Bradford City Hall stands behind Centenary Square. The latest part of City Park is the mirror pool, which was opened in March 2012. The fountain shoots up 30m, which makes it the highest of any fountain in a British city. There are also forty small play fountains. There's a light show at dusk.

The pool is only about 25cm deep, and access to the water is encouraged. There's also a raised Y-shaped walkway which allows visitors to keep their feet more or less dry while traversing the mirror pool.

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Salt's Mill, Saltaire

Salt's Mill, Saltaire

Salt's Mill, Saltaire, Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

Salt's Mill was built by Sir Titus Salt in 1853 as a textile mill. At the time, it was the largest industrial building in the world in terms of floor area. It's now an art gallery (with paintings by David Hockney), shopping centre, and restaurant complex.

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Brighouse

Brighouse Basin

Brighouse Basin, by Tim Green, Licence CC BY 2.0

Brighouse is a town in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, on the river Calder. It has a mooring basin on the Calder & Hebble Navigation. The name 'Brighouse' comes from 'bridge house', a building on a bridge over the Calder.

Brighouse is the original home of the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.

Stage 3, Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Holmfirth

Bridge in the centre of Holmfirth

Holmfirth is a small town (population 21,706 - 2011 census) near Huddersfield, on the A6024 Woodhead Road. It is in the Holme valley, at the confluence of the river Holme and the small river Ribble. It's in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, and the county of West Yorkshire. 

Holmfirth is sometimes known as 'Little Hollywood', because of its associations with film and television. Bamforth & Co made films in Holmfirth in the early 1900s, before switching to producing saucy postcards. It was also the location for the long-running sitcom 'Last of the Summer Wine'.

Holmfirth Last of the Summer Wine exhibition billboard

History of Holmfirth

Holmfirth grew up in the 1200s, around a bridge and a corn mill. It was a rural and farming community until it expanded in the late 1700s with the cloth trade, and became a thriving mill town.

In 1850, a railway station opened in Holmfirth, on a branch line built by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company.

Holmfirth has always been susceptible to flooding, and the worst of the floods occurred on 5th February 1852, when the Bilberry Reservoir embankment collapsed, and 81 people were killed. There was also a flood in 1944, 'the forgotten flood', because it happened just a few days before the Normandy landings. 

These days, Holmfirth is a tourist town, with visitors attracted by its association with Last of the Summer Wine. It also serves as a dormitory for commuters to Huddersfield, Leeds, and Bradford.

See more history on holmfirth.org

Arts in Holmfirth

Holmfirth has a Film Festival and a Folk Festival in May, and an Arts Festival in June. 

The folk song 'Pratty Flowers' is associated with the town, and is also called the 'Holmfirth Anthem'.

Bradford Mirror Pool Shibden WallUnderbank reservoir

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