IT’S here.

After months of build-up the 2019 edition of the Tour de Yorkshire is finally about to get underway.

The big cycle race will this year take in four stages covering 384 miles - with the two days, Friday and Saturday, that make up the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race covering 164 miles - between Thursday, May 2 and Sunday, May 5.

As always the event has attracted many of the world’s best riders including Otley’s own Lizzie Deignan, won won the women’s race in 2017.

The 30 year old is back competing after taking a break following the birth of her first child last September.

Looking forward to the 2019 race, she said: “I can’t wait to be back on home roads and racing in front of home crowds again.”

The first stage of the Tour, on May 2, will cover a 111 mile stretch from Doncaster to Selby but it is during the Barnsley to Bedale Stage 2, on May 3, that spectators in Wharfedale will be able to really get involved.

The riders - with the women, on their race’s stage one, arriving in the morning and the men following the same route in the afternoon - will pass

through Bramhope, Pool-in-Wharfedale and Leathley.

The race will be back in the area again on the final day, May 5, too when the men will ride through Blubberhouses, Otley, up Otley Chevin and along Otley Old Road, near Bramhope, as they head to the finish in Leeds.

On May 3, the first female cyclists are expected to reach Bramhope at 10.44am, Pool-in-Wharfedale at 10.49am, and Leathley at 10.55am before going on to the Côte de Lindley climb at 10.58am.

The men will follow in the afternoon reaching Bramhope at 4.12pm, Pool-in-Wharfedale at 4.17pm, Leathley at 4.22pm and the Côte de Lindley at 4.25pm.

On May 5, meanwhile - the Tour’s final, Halifax to Leeds stage - the riders will reach Blubberhouses at about 4.11pm, Otley at 4.28pm and then the Côte de Otley Chevin, on East Chevin Road, at about 4.34pm.

The Chevin stretch will represent the final categorised climb and after that the cyclists will head towards Leeds, enjoying one final intermeidate sprint at Tinshill at about 4.46pm.

They will then head into the city centre where the leaders are expected to reach the stage finish at approximately 5.03pm.

A series of rolling road closures will be used throughout the race to try to minimise traffic disruption.

Lots of local communities and businesses, meanwhile, are putting on special Tour-inspired activities, decorations and screenings for the occasion.

Bramhope residents will be able to cheer on the riders for the first time this year so the village has made a special effort to mark the event. St Giles Church will be the focus of many of the activities, including a quiz, Cyclathon, bling your bike competition and beer tent along with a mocktails bar run by the Methodist Church while Bramhope in Bloom have been busy creating special planters and hanging yellow bicycles up.

In Leeds city centre, meanwhile, the Fan Village - featuring a big screen showing the race, live performances and more - will return to the Millennium Square from the evening of Wednesday, May 1.