Tour de Yorkshire takes off from Doncaster

The Tour de Yorkshire 2019 set off from Doncaster city centre this afternoon, for the first time in the tour’s history.

Hundreds of cycling fans gathered to see the competitors begin the first stage of their route from Doncaster to Selby.

The tour, which will last three days, continues on a route from Doncaster through Leeds in four stages.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, took to the stage with famous French cyclist Thomas Voeckler.

Mayor Jones said: “We’ve never hosted the start before and this is a whole new experience for Doncaster.”

Mayor Ros Jones (second left) on stage with famous Thomas Voeckler (second right).

The crowds applauded each of the 19 teams as they took to the stage.

Mark Cavendish, who has won 30 Tour de France stages, made his return to the Tour de Yorkshire for the second year today, as he continues to recover from illness.

Mark Cavendish for Team Dimension

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is also competing this year. Froome’s Team, Team INEOS, provoked a mixed reception, as fracking protesters boo-ed their appearance on stage.

Chris Froome for Team INEOS

Doncaster-born cyclists Connor Swift, Graham Briggs, Tom Stewart and Ben Turner are also competing.

Stage two of the tour will begin on Friday – you can follow our live updates here.