Kirklees will make its debut in the Tour de Yorkshire 2017.
And it is hoped that the district will make the most of the high-profile cycling event, which last year attracted two million spectators and generated £60 million for the county’s economy.
The third edition of the race takes place over April 28 to 30. Stage one will begin in Bridlington and finish in Scarborough. Stage two runs from Tadcaster to Harrogate. Kirklees and Calderdale form part of stage three, the Yorkshire Terrier, which snakes for 194.5km from Bradford to the Fox Valley in Sheffield.
In Calderdale cyclists will have to tackle the notorious Shibden Wall, a 0.8km climb at 15.5% gradient that has been variously described as “a cobbled brute” and “a beast.”
From Halifax racers will reach Southowram and Brighouse before heading through Liversedge towards Waterloo. The route then follows Penistone Road and Woodsome Road to Farnley Tyas, descending into the Holme Valley and south towards Penistone and journey’s end in South Yorkshire.
Keen cyclist Clr Martyn Bolt, the deputy leader of Kirklees Council’s Tory group, said the event was “a great chance to showcase Kirklees.”
“This is the first time we’ve had the Tour de Yorkshire and it’s a really interesting route,” he said.
“There aren’t any of the big climbs but Dunford Road out of Holmfirth will be long and steady. Kirklees needs to encourage people to come and visit Kirklees and stay around, maybe camping in Holmfirth.”
He added that during the Tour de France too many roads were closed off. Instead tourists should be encouraged to come and cyclists to enjoy the route themselves.
Clr Bolt, a Yorkshire representative for the national cycling charity CTC, said he hoped the council would spend money improving the roads as they did for the Grand Depart in 2014.
He added: “I hope we can use the tour to increase participation in cycling and improve the infrastructure to make cycling safer for everyone.”
Calderdale’s council leader Tim Swift said “Hosting the Tour de France in 2014 and the first annual Tour de Yorkshire last year was a great success for tourism, business and cycling in Calderdale. We’re excited to build on this when our fantastic area is showcased once again.”