Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster could be targeted by anti-fracking protests

The Tour de Yorkshire is coming back to Doncaster.
The Tour de Yorkshire is coming back to Doncaster.

The Tour de Yorkshire could be targeted by anti-fracking protesters when it comes to Doncaster later this year.

Anti-fracking campaigners have said there will be protests against chemicals firm Ineos' takeover of Team Sky at this year's cycle racing event which starts in Doncaster on May 2.

Team Sky announced this week that it will become Team Ineos from 1 May - with the new team's launch at the first stage in Doncaster Market Place.

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Ineos, owned by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has rights to frack in sites in Yorkshire.

"No doubt there will be protests," said Steve Mason of Free Frack United.

Ineos has rights to explore for shale gas in sites in Cheshire, Yorkshire and the Midlands, but has yet to start because of planning disputes, with Ratcliffe criticising the government's fracking rules last month.

READ MORE: Tour de Yorkshire back in Doncaster for 2019

The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of chemicals and plastics, but is signed up to the plastic industry's Operation Clean Sweep, an international programme that aims to prevent the spread of plastic waste in the oceans.

Campaign director Mason said: "I for one will not be letting my kids watch cycling anymore with Team Ineos taking part and I won't be alone.

"No doubt there will be protests around the Tour de Yorkshire and the World Championships to be held in Yorkshire later this year."

Doncaster will host the start of the Stage One Men’s race.

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The race will start in the newly refurbished market square and cyclists will then ride out past the Mansion House, Hallgate, Christ Church and then over St George’s Bridge on to the A19.

The route will then go through Bentley, Toll Bar, Owston, Askern, Campsall and Norton.

It will be the third time Doncaster has hosted the Tour de Yorkshire.