The damage has been done the second they decided to finish in Harrogate instead of a place like Halifax where you could have designed a legendarily good WC route. I just don't get these kind of decisions. The last time we had a WC RR that was neither one for the sprinters nor for pure climbers was in 2014. That means at least five years without a proper route for the majority of the classics specialists.
Considering the race takes place in Harrogate I can't say I'm overly mad as I came up with pretty much the same route a few days ago when trying to map a WC course myself. Let's hope for a good race but I very much doubt it.
This is extremely annoying. I am from Leeds and have attended both stages of the Grand Depart and a stage of every edition of the Tour de Yorkshire and whilst I will still come out to support this I am bitterly disappointed that they wasted the once in a generation chance to use the available parcours to deliver a route with a mix of Flanders and Amstel gold type hills on to really produce an enduring champion.
The only consolation for me is that my favourite rider Peter Sagan will still be the biggest favourite on this route. The only thing that might aid selection on this route is its sheer distance and the possibility of inclement weather.
I got hyped again for about a minute when I read they actually only ride that lap 7 times. Then I saw they just put the Leeds - Harrogate stage from the 2014 tour before the beginning of the lap. Again, what the f*ck were the organizers thinking? Leeds and Harrogate are less than 25 km apart from each other so the organizers had to cover a 25 kilometers distance over 190 kilometer and instead of thinking "we could use this to make the race properly hard early on so it doesn't just end in a sprint" they are like "lol we don't want to work, don't we already have some route for Leeds to Harrogate that is 190 km long". The amount of possibilities the organizers had are huge. Let them ride Shibden Wall and other such climbs and this could still be a great route even with that finishing circuit but instead of using the fact that the lap is only ridden seven times to make the race harder they use it to make it even easier. Pathetic route.