Yorkshire cycling website
Main Street, Haworth, by Hedgehog Cycling
Stephane Rossetto wins Stage 4 Tour de Yorkshire 2018, by SWPix
Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) won Stage 4 of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire after a long solo effort. Rossetto, who rode alone for the last 120km, said, 'This is my third professional win, and certainly my most beautiful. I did it on a race that is growing in stature all the time, has more history now, and an amazing crowd. It's been like riding the Tour de France over the last four days.'
Final Tour de Yorkshire 2018 podium, by SWPix
Greg van Avermaet (BMC) was second on the stage, and took the overall Tour de Yorkshire GC win. Eduard Prades Reverter (Euskadi) was second overall, with Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) third.
Van Avermaet said, 'I'm happy I could achieve the race win, because it was certainly not easy today. The fans were amazing, and for the whole four days actually. I remember from the Tour de France, and when I last raced here in 2015, what it was like, and with this sunny weather even more fans came out. It was really special.'
'The parcours was fantastic as well, with a lot of variation over the four stages, and this race definitely deserves its place on the calendar. I hope to come back and defend my title next year.'
Big crowds on Stage 4 Tour de Yorkshire 2018, by SWPix
Sir Gary Verity said, 'I'm so proud of the last four days. It takes a lot of work to make this race happen. All the highways teams and local authorities across Yorkshire worked so hard to make sure everything was ready and we're hugely grateful to the emergency services as well.'
'This race wouldn't be what it is without our great partners, and of course, I'd like to say a massive thank you to all the male and female riders who came and produced such a gripping event. Greg van Avermaet was a more than worthy winner, and that gutsy ride from Stéphane Rossetto will live long in the memory.'
'Finally, I have to mention the crowds as well. Once again, they were utterly unbelievable, and it was like being back at the 2014 Tour de France. Every start and finish was absolutely rammed, and there were so many high points along the route that I'll need to take a few days to let it all sink in.'
Stage 4 of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire is 189.5km from Halifax to Leeds. It passes through beautiful scenery, including some of the 'greatest hits' of the Tour de France in Yorkshire in 2014, and the climbs will make it a hard race. It should be a cracker of a stage to round off the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire, and determine the winner.
From Halifax, the riders head for Hebden Bridge, and the first categorised climb is the Côte de Hebden Bridge, on the road to Oxenhope. The race goes up Main Stree, Haworth, and the next official climb is the Côte de Goose Eye, on the way to Skipton. After Embsay, there's the Côte de Barden Moor. Into the Yorkshire Dales now, the route goes through Burnsall and Threshfield on the way to an intermediate sprint at Kilnsey.
At Kettlewell, Stage 4 doesn't repeat the route of Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2014 - rather, the peloton climbs the Côte de Park Rash as it takes a minor road through Coverdale. They arrive at Middleham, and here they do cover part of the Tour de France route, travelling via East Witton and Jervaulx to Masham. Then it's on to Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard, Glasshouses and Pateley Bridge, and from there the climb of Greenhow Hill.
Turning off before the village of Greenhow Hill, the route is via Thruscross to Blubberhouses, then on to Otley. The final climb is of Otley Chevin, before a descent to Pool-in-Wharfedale. The second intermediate sprint is at Arthington, and now it's the approach to Leeds. The race route is via Armley towards the centre, and finish line is on the Headrow.
Map of Stage 4, Tour de Yorkshire 2018, courtesy of Welcome to Yorkshire
Profile of Stage 4, Tour de Yorkshire 2018, © Welcome to Yorkshire/race organisers
Stage 4 gets under way in Halifax at 1210 (ceremonial start). The flag goes down and the racing starts at 1220. The estimated average speeds are 41kmh, 39kmh, and 37kmh, and depending on which is the most accurate, the riders will arrive at the finish line in Leeds between 1657 and 1727. See the full timings for Stage 4, Tour de Yorkshire 2018.
Stage 4 begins at the Piece Hall, Halifax (ceremonial start). The Piece Hall dates from 1779, and was originally used for trading pieces of woollen cloth.
The Piece Hall opens at 9am. There'll be a podium where the riders will sign on, then they leave through the South Gate. Entertainment includes Halifax band Jump, Jive & Wail, a one-man circus act, theatre, music and comedy with Circus Fudge, and a ukulele player. There'll be food and drink available, and a big screen showing the Tour de Yorkshire live.
The riders leave Halifax going south of Skircoat Road, past the Shay Stadium, then they turn right on Free School Lane. By Savile Park, the flag goes down and the racing starts (Km 0).
Stage 4 heads west on the A646 Burnley Road, following the Rochdale Canal and river Calder to Mytholmroyd.
The Shoulder of Mutton, Mytholmroyd, by Hedgehog Cycling
Mytholmroyd is the first town after the start at Halifax, then the race stays on the A646 to Hebden Bridge.
Hebden Bridge Mill, by Hedgehog Cycling
Stage 4 leaves Hebden Bridge going uphill on the A6033. This is the same route as that of Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France, but in the opposite direction, so the Tour rode this road as a descent. In 2018, the peloton will climb through woods to Pecket Well, then emerge out into the wide open spaces of Oxenhope Moor. The Tour de Yorkshire organisers call this climb the Côte de Hebden Bridge.
Oxenhope Moor, by Hedgehog Cycling
From Oxenhope Moor (Cock Hill), the riders descend to Oxenhope.
Oxenhope, by Hedgehog Cycling
The race stays on the A6033 the other side of Oxenhope, now quite flat, to Haworth. When a bike race visits Haworth, it's obligatory for the route to be up the cobbles of Main Street, so that's what will happen. It may feel like a gratuitous uphill deviation to the cyclists taking part, but at least there'll be plenty of support and encouragement for them. It's not enough to merit being a categorised climb.
Main Street, Haworth, by Hedgehog Cycling
The route continues from Haworth to Oakworth, then it crosses North Beck at Goose Eye. The other side of the beck, there's a climb on Game Scar Lane/Green Sykes Road. This is the Côte de Goose Eye.
Stage 4 goes over the moor on Green Sykes Road, which becomes Ellers Road for the descent to Sutton-in-Craven. It crosses Holme Beck to Glusburn and Cross Hills. After going over the river Aire, the riders take the A629 Skipton Road alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal; there's a right fork onto the A6131, which takes them into Skipton.
Skipton Castle, by Hedgehog Cycling
The route continues to Embsay (which is at one end of the Embsay & Bolton Abbey steam railway).
From Embsay, it's a short distance to Eastby, then comes the climb up to Barden Moor - the categorised Côte de Barden Moor. Stage 4 is now in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
There's a descent from Barden Moor, then the B6160 takes the peloton to Burnsall on the river Wharfe. Following the river upstream, the riders reach Threshfield. A little further on, there are views of Grass Wood on the other side of the Wharfe.
Grass Wood and the river Wharfe, by Hedgehog Cycling
The first intermediate sprint is in the shadow of Kilnsey Crag, at Kilnsey.
Kilnsey Crag, by Hedgehog Cycling
The B6160 crosses the little river Skirfare, then at Kettlewell, there's a bridge over the Wharfe.
Bridge over the Wharfe at Kettlewell, by Hedgehog Cycling
Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France continued on up the Wharfe from Kettlewell towards Buckden, then Kidstones Pass. Stage 4 of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire forks right instead, on Cam Gill Road, alongside Cam Gill Beck. Where the road leaves the beck and climbs steeply, this the next categorised climb, the Côte de Park Rash.
The hilltop is flat for a distance, then Cam Gill Road descends towards the river Cover. This is Coverdale - a wild and lonely place, as Private Fraser might have put it. The riders go through the hamlets of Braidley and Horsehouse, and the small villages of Carlton and Melmerby.
They reach Middleham, near the Cover's confluence with the river Ure.
Middleham Castle, by Hedgehog Cycling
Stage 4 leaves Middleham on the A6108. The next few miles are the same as Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France. There's a little humpback bridge over the river Cover, then the road rises gently towards East Witton.
East Witton church, by Hedgehog Cycling
The undulating road continues to Jervaulx Abbey.
Jervaulx Abbey, by Hedgehog Cycling
Then it's on to Masham. Visit Masham say that there's to be an expanded market in the Market Place, and a big screen showing the race. Check out timings and details of entertainment including a pop-up Caribbean Carnival.
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, by Hedgehog Cycling
Black Sheep Brewery are sponsoring the race, and are the official beer of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire. There'll be a sprint point in Masham, the Black Sheep Striaght - not one of the intermediate sprints counting towards the points jersey, but with a special prize of the winning rider's height in beer.
At Masham, Stage 4 leaves the A6108, and takes Thorpe Road over the river Burn, across Roomer Common, and past Hackfall Woods to Grewelthorpe (the suggested coffee stop on my Côte de Lofthouse ride).
Hackfall café, Grewelthorpe, by Hedgehog Cycling
The route continues to Kirkby Malzeard, then Laverton, where the riders cross the river Laver. Beyond Laverton, Stage 4 joins a lovely route across the moor - Dallow Moor and Pateley Moor. This road is great for cycling - it's quiet, even when the roads are not closed for the Tour de Yorkshire, and there are wonderful views.
Road across Dallow Moor, by Hedgehog Cycling
There are sheep farms here. Large parts of the moors are used for grouse shooting.
Red grouse, by Hedgehog Cycling
(Grouse shooting creates some employment, and the moors look nice. There are, though, also unfortunate consequences of the intensive management of moorland for grouse. Partial burning of the heather increases carbon emissions and raises flood risks for surrounding areas. Predators like foxes, stoats, weasels, and even crows, are killed in large numbers by gamekeepers, by shooting or trapping them. Nidderdale also has a problem with the illegal shooting or poisoning of birds of prey, including red kites. This is a longstanding problem. The absence of predators has incidental benefits for some ground-nesting birds like curlew, but it's doubtful that this compensates for the wholesale destruction of other wildlife).
The race route descends to Blazefield and Glasshouses, then takes the B6265 to Pateley Bridge.
High Street Pateley Bridge, by Hedgehog Cycling
Leaving Pateley Bridge, the riders stay on the B6265 to climb Greenhow Hill - the categorised Côte de Greenhow Hill. They turn left in the village of Greenhow Hill, on Duck Street Lane. This road takes them to Thruscross (Thruscross reservoir to the right), and it descends to meet the A59 at Blubberhouses, at the northern end of Fewston reservoir.
After doing a dogleg across the A59, the race route climbs Shepherd Hill, crosses Denton Moor/Askwith Moor. (In August 2017, the RSPB filmed individuals illegally interfering with a marsh harrier nest on Denton Moor. All the eggs were taken, and shots fired at the adult birds. This occurred on the Denton Park Estate, owned by engineering firm NG Bailey. Such criminal activity corrodes the reputation of Nidderdale and North Yorkshire - which has the dishonour of being the worst county for raptor persecution for the last 5 years).
The route descends off the moors to the Wharfe at Otley. After crossing the river, the riders go through Otley, then leave the town on East Chevin Road. It's a road that will be well-known to anyone familiar with Otley, and it's jolly steep. On Stage 4, this climb is called the Côte de Otley Chevin.
Otley, with Otley Chevin behind, by Hedgehog Cycling
The summit of the climb is at the junction with Old Lane, which Stage 4 takes as far as the A658. The A658 takes the peloton to Pool, then they are on the A659 Arthington Lane to Arthington. Here, they turn right on Black Hill Road, and there's an intermediate sprint.
In Adel, the Stage 4 route meets the A660, then turns off it on New Adel Lane/Spen Lane. There's a short stretch on the A65 to Kirkstall, where the riders cross the river Aire. After that, they're on Wyther Lane/Cockshott Lane to the A647, which takes them to Armley. Viaduct Road takes the race over the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the river Aire. The final run-in to Leeds is on Burley Road/Burley Street/Park Lane, over the A58M, and onto The Headrow where the riders cross the finish line.
According to Visit Leeds, an activity, entertainment, and food & drink area called The Village will take over Millenium Square for the duration of the Tour de Yorkshire 2018.
Leeds Town Hall, on The Headrow, by Hedgehog Cycling
All the news from the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire, and the routes of the four stages.
Read about the Tour de Yorkshire 2018.
Halifax is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale and the county of West Yorkshire.
Since the C15th, Halifax was a centre of wool manufacture. Pieces of woollen cloth were traded at the Piece Hall after it opened in 1779. (The Piece Hall is now home to many independent shops). In the C18th, the cotton and carpet industries also flourished. Dean Clough Mill was once the largest carpet factory in the world.
Mackintosh's chocolate and toffee company originated as a toffee shop opened by John and Violet Mackintosh here. It makes products including Rolo, Toffee Crisp, and Quality Street, and is now owned by Nestlé.
The Halifax Bank (originally a Building Society) was founded in Halifax in 1853.
The 2nd Earl of Halifax helped to found a town in Nova Scotia, which was named Halifax after him.
Halifax has a football and a rugby league team.
There's a C15th Minster dedicated to St John the Baptist.
Mytholmroyd ('Royd) is in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, and the county of West Yorkshire. It has a population of 3,949 (2011 census).
The name Mytholmroyd comes from Old English, and means field or clearing where two rivers meet. The rivers are Cragg Brook, and the river Calder.
In the late 1700s, the adjoining Cragg Vale was home to a gang of counterfeiters called the Cragg Coiners.
Poet Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd. Sylvia Path is buried in nearby Heptonstall.
Oxenhope is a village within the Metropolitan Borough of Bradford and the county of West Yorkshire, with a population of 1,872 (2011 census). It's the terminus of the Keighley & Worth Valley railway.
The Oxenhope Straw Race is an annual event in which teams of two carry a bale of straw around a 2.5 mile course, drinking a pint of beer in each pub on the route.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park was established in 1954, and is an area of 680 square miles. It is a collection of river valleys and hills, which is part of the Pennines, but with almost all the rivers draining east towards the Vale of York. ('Dale' is a word that comes from the Germanic 'tal' or the Nordic 'dal').
The valleys are U- and V- shaped, due to the action of glaciers in the last ice age (the Devensian). The rock is largely carboniferous limestone, with some millstone grit in places.
The scenery in the Yorkshire Dales is green upland pastures, grazed by sheep, and separated by dry stone walls. There are villages and hamlets, which have been there for a thousand years. Traditionally, they are close-knit and self-sufficient communities.
Kettlewell church, by Hedgehog Cycling
Other elements of the landscape include meadows, where wild flowers and herbs grow; heather moorland, used for grouse shooting; and the remains of lead mines and lime kilns.
As well as the 20,000 residents, there are 8 million visitors to the Yorkshire Dales each year. People come to enjoy the landscape by car, to wander around the villages, and for hiking. There's a long-distance footpath, the Dales Way; and the Pennine Way also crosses the Dales. Other leisure activities include cycling and potholing. One good road cycling route in the Yorkshire Dales is this Grassington - Halton Gill - Malham - Grassington route.
One of the historic buildings in the Dales is Bolton Castle.
Bolton Castle, by Hedgehog Cycling
Kettlewell, in Upper Wharfedale, is one of the most charming villages in the Yorkshire Dales. It featured as 'Knapely' in the film Calendar Girls. The population is about 340 (including Starbotton; 2010 figures).
The name Kettlewell is thought to originate from the Anglo-Saxon Chetelewelle, meaning bubbling spring or stream. Kettlewell Beck runs through the village, before flowing into the Wharfe just to the west.
A market was established in Kettlewell in the 1200s. From 1700 to 1880, there was lead mining, and a smelting mill here. More recently, the village has made its living from agriculture (with Swaledale sheep farmed in the area) and tourism. Kettlewell is on the route of the Dales Way, and sits below Great Whernside. There are deer in the surrounding hills, but they are shy and rarely sighted.
There are some historic houses in the village, dating from the 1600s and 1700s. The church was built in 1820. Kettlewell is well-supplied with pubs - there are three: the Racehorses, the Blue Bell, and the King's Head (currently closed). There's also a Youth Hostel, which incorporates the Post Office.
Kettlewell hosts a popular scarecrow festival in August each year.
Bridge over the river Ure near Middleham, by Hedgehog Cycling
'Ham' means village, so Middleham is the middle village.
It has been settled since Roman times: after the 9th Legion conquered York in 69AD, they built the Great North Road, and a branch of it went via Middleham to Bainbridge. There was a Roman guard station near Middleham, to control traffic on the river Ure.
After the Norman Conquest, it was given to Alan Rufus, William the Conqueror's nephew. He built a wooden motte and bailey castle, and its earthworks can still be seen on William's Hill, immediately south of Middleham. The present castle was begun in 1190. Middleham was referred to as 'Medelai' in the Domesday Book.
Middleham Castle, by Hedgehog Cycling
In 1389, the lord of Middleham manor got royal permission for a weekly market and an annual fair.
By 1462, the castle belonged to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (known as the Kingmaker), and in that year, Richard - the future king Richard III - came to learn the skills of knighthood. He met Neville's daughter, Anne, here, and married her in 1472. (Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth Field - the last English king to die in battle. His remains have recently been discovered).
The castle was dismantled in 1646, but significant ruins remain.
Middleham has been known for horse race training since Isaac Cape set up here in 1765. Racing is the number one employer, and there is a Middleham Trainers' Association. Trainers in Middleham include Mark Johnston and James Bethell.
The Middleham Jewel was discovered in 1985 by a metal detector-ist. It is a gold pendant with a sapphire stone from the late 1400s, which is now displayed in the Yorkshire museum in York.
Jervaulx was one of the great Cistercian Abbeys of Yorkshire. The Abbey was founded in 1145 by Peter Quintain, a monk from Savigny in France, on land near Askrigg in Wensleydale granted by the Earl of Richmond. (It was called the Abbey of Fors, and the village on that site is now called Grange). It moved to the present site near East Witton in 1156.
Jervaulx, previously Jorvalle, means Ure Valley. The monastery thrived here, and at its height, owned a great deal of land. The monks bred horses, and made Wensleydale cheese. Monastery life ended with the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536/7. The last Abbott, Adam Sedbergh, joined the uprising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace, and was ultimately hung, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.
Since 1971, it has been owned by the Burdon family. When the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission inspected the site in 1982, they awarded it the dubious honour of 'most dangerous place in the UK.' It was restored and made safe between 1984 and 2000.
There is parking, tea rooms, luxury accommodation, and they put on events.
Masham has a population of 1,205 (2011 census). 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.
The most striking feature of Masham is its very big market place. 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. There's a market 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 the Theakstons brewery 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.
The bridge, 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. The trackbed could be used to extend the Nidderdale Greenway to Pateley.
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.
© 2017-18 HedgehogCycling
Template design by Andreas Viklund