SKIPTON is once again to be a major feature of the Tour of Yorkshire cycle race when it comes through the town next year, it has been announced today.

It will feature in stage four of the race which this year has been extended to four days from Thursday, May 3 to Sunday, May 6, allowing the women’s race to increase from one to two days, on May 3 and 4.

From Skipton it will head across Barden Moor to include a sprint passing spectacular Kilnsey Crag and then continue up Park Rash from Kettlewell.

Stage two will see the race go through Otley and into Ilkley finishing at the Cow and Calf, the first ever summit finish of the Yorkshire tour.

Councillor Richard Foster, leader of Craven District Council, said: “We’re delighted that the Tour de Yorkshire is coming through Craven once again. It’s great news for the Dales villages and particularly exciting to have two King of the Mountains climbs in Craven, which always attract plenty of spectators.

"It’s also fantastic that the race will be travelling up Skipton High Street again as it was very well attended and appreciated in the town this year. The Tour de Yorkshire is a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase the very best of Craven to the world.”

North Yorkshire County Council is working with partners – including event organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), district councils and emergency services.

Cllr Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Including 2014’s Tour de France Grand Départ, we now have four years’ experience of hosting world class cycling events in North Yorkshire.

"I’m sure the county council will again play its part in delivering a fantastic event, but mainly this is about our communities coming together to showcase our beautiful landscapes, towns and villages.

Further details will be available nearer to the race weekend and will be published on the council’s website,