Tour de force for local businesses

More top riders are expected at the next two Tour de Yorkshire events ahead of the 2019 world championships.
More top riders are expected at the next two Tour de Yorkshire events ahead of the 2019 world championships.

The 2017 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the economy by almost £64 million, independent research reveals.

The race weekend in April saw a record 2.2 million spectators line the route and spend 8% more than last year.

The economic impact study, carried out by Leeds Beckett University, showed that the majority of spectators were from Yorkshire (86%) while 14% from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is marvellous news for Yorkshire and the public support this year was truly overwhelming.

“Since we launched the race in 2015 it has grown year on year and is now regarded as one of the biggest and best supported races in the sport.

“People have really taken the tour to their hearts and we’re working hard to get it extended to four days in 2018 so we can to bring it to more parts of the county and generate even greater benefits.”

This year’s race attracted a stellar field and Welcome to Yorkshire are confident of enticing more big names for the next two editions as riders look to visit the county in preparation for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

The winner of the 2017 tour Serge Pauwels said: “I’ve cycled all around the world and my favourite three crowds are for the Classics in Belgium, those in the Basque Country, and here in Yorkshire.

“Over the winter my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie to warm up for the Tour de France but I said no, I want to do the Tour of Yorkshire.”