England

Tour de Yorkshire: More than 1.2m turn out for cycle race

Tour de Yorkshire riders on Cow and Calf, Ilkley Image copyright PA
Image caption The race route took in spectacular climbs including the famous Cow and Calf hill above Ilkley

More than 1.2 million people are estimated to have turned out for the inaugural three-day Tour de Yorkshire, race organisers have said.

Stage One from Bridlington to Scarborough saw 250,000 spectators line the streets on Friday, according to estimates by police and race officials.

Another 450,000 braved chilly weather to watch the riders as they raced from Selby to York in Saturday's Stage Two.

Even bigger crowds of 500,000-750,000 saw the Wakefield to Leeds final leg.

The race was set up as a legacy event in the wake of last summer's successful Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire, which attracted more than 2.5 million people to the county and generated about £100m for the regional economy.

Organisers of the Tour de Yorkshire predicted about one million people would take to the streets to welcome some of the world's top cyclists, with a line-up including Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Race organiser Gary Verity said: "This has exceeded all our expectations.

Image copyright AP
Image caption David Cameron was given a warm welcome in Addingham, near Ilkley, where he stopped to watch the race

"To get so many people out to see the first ever Tour de Yorkshire is incredible. I cannot thank the people of Yorkshire enough for their support."

Even Prime Minister David Cameron managed to catch some of the action, visiting the village of Addingham, near Ilkley, in a break from election campaigning.

Sunday's final stage took the riders on a 167km (104 mile) route from Wakefield in West Yorkshire to Barnsley in South Yorkshire and back through Bronte country in the Pennines before a finish in front of thousands of spectators in Roundhay Park, Leeds.

West Yorkshire Police said an 80-year-old woman was struck by one of the riders shortly before 16:00 BST on the A65, near the bottom of the Cow and Calf, Ilkley.

She suffered facial and arm injuries and was taken to Airedale General Hospital.

The rider suffered minor injuries in the collision and was forced to retire from the stage.

The three-day race was won by Norwegian Lars-Petter Nordhaug, with Spain's Samuel Sanchez in second place and Thomas Voeckler from France in third.

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