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Will Driffield be back in the cycling spotlight?

Could Driffield and some of its surrounding villages be part of the UK’s biggest cycle race when it takes place later this year?

The prospect of the Tour of Britain coming to the Capital of the Wolds or villages such as Hutton Cranswick, Nafferton and Middleton-on-the-Wolds was raised when it was confirmed that the race was returning to Beverley for the first time in 15 years this September.

Beverley will be the finish location for stage three on Tuesday 5th September, with the full route set to be announced in the weeks to come.

The last time Driffield hosted some of the world’s best cyclists was in 2017 when it was part of Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Thousands of people lined Middle Street South to watch the peloton arrive in the town, having already taken in Haisthorpe, Thornholme and Burton Agnes, before passing through Kirkburn, North Dalton and Warter.

There was disappointment in future years when Driffield played no part in the Tour de Yorkshire schedule, however, places such as Beswick, Kilnwick, Middleton-on-the-Wolds, North Dalton and Warter were regularly featured until the race’s demise in 2019, although there are plans for a revival next year.

Those scenes in 2017 could be repeated when over 100 of the world’s leading cyclists head just up the road to Beverley, almost 15 years to the day since the Tour of Britain passed through the town during a stage from Hull to Dalby Forest, and Driffield town clerk Matthew Brown is hopeful the town will be included on the route.

“Driffield Town Council would be delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain 2023 should Driffield be included in the route,” he said.

“When the Tour de Yorkshire came through town in 2017 it was well received with the streets lined with spectators so I’m sure that a visit by the Tour of Britain would be something that would be widely welcomed.

“At this moment in time we’ve had no contact from the event organisers but we would certainly welcome a discussion about the possibilities of Driffield playing a part.”

It will be Beverley’s first appearance as a Tour of Britain stage host, although it was a Tour de Yorkshire start venue in 2016 and 2018.

Full details of stage three, including the start location, route and timetable, will be announced in due course.

“Today’s announcement that Beverley will host the stage three finish of the Tour of Britain is fantastic news, not just for Beverley but for the whole of the East Riding,” said Caroline Lacey, chief executive of East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

“We know from our previous experience of hosting the Tour de Yorkshire just how much people in the East Riding love their cycling and I expect that after a four-year absence of cycling in the East Riding, the crowds will be out to cheer on the cyclists to the finish line.

“With the race being broadcast live on ITV4, it also gives us the chance to showcase Beverley and the East Riding to audiences both at home and abroad and to put us on the map as a must-visit destination.”

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