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Tour de Yorkshire 2016: Crowd numbers 'phenomenal'

Riders cycle through crowds Image copyright PA
Image caption People crowd Sutton Bank, near Thirsk, to watch the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire

Well over a million spectators turned out to see the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, organisers have said.

About 100,000 saw just the start of the final day of the race in Middlesbrough. The 136km route finished in Scarborough.

Welcome to Yorkshire said a million saw the second stage on Saturday, in which male and female cyclists were riding the same route for the first time.

Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: "Crowds were once again phenomenal".

The race is split into three stages and covers 515 km (320 miles) across the Yorkshire landscape.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The second stage saw male and female cyclists ride the same route for the first time

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler sped to the finishing line in Scarborough stealing an electric win in the last leg of the race.

On Saturday, Team Sky's Danny van Poppel snatched victory in the men's stage while Dutch rider Kirsten Wild won the women's.

Fellow Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen won the first stage between Beverley and Settle on Friday.

Otley rider and Olympian Lizzie Armitstead, 27, who finished in the chasing pack, said the start of the second leg was "brilliant".

The road race world champion said she had "a goose-pimple moment at the beginning to be supported by my community".

"It's not something I ever thought would happen to me - to start a race in my hometown and as world champion - both are a surprise and a bonus."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Team Great Britain"s Lizzie Armitstead was denied victory in the women's stage of the Tour de Yorkshire

Wild said she would share the £15,000 prize money with her fellow Team Hitec Products' mates.

"It was a great opportunity for women's cycling and it has been really good to race here, in front of enthusiastic crowds," she said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Kirsten Wild is the second Dutch cyclist to win the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire after Dylan Groenewegen on Friday

British Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins pulled out of the first day of the race towards the end of the stage.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A number of riders were caught up in a crash while crossing Beverley Westwood on Friday

Despite the heavy rain, many children from local schools cheered the riders on as they made their way through villages in the Yorkshire Wolds and headed into North Yorkshire.

A number of riders were involved in a crash soon after the start of the race as they cycled over open fields outside of Beverley.

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Media captionThe 515.5km (320 mile) route is split into three stages

As well as the professional race, there is a mass-participation "sportive" for amateur cyclists along the same roads as the Tour de Yorkshire.

The idea for the event was launched after Yorkshire hosted the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Riders started the 186km long race in Beverley, East Yorkshire, on Friday

Stage one: Beverley to Settle - 186 km

Starting in Beverley, the race weaves through the Wolds, crossing the A64 at Tadcaster before heading north past Wetherby and into the Yorkshire Dales.

Once the cyclists leave Pateley Bridge and after a tough climb at Greenhow Hill, riders travel downhill from Grassington to Gargrave and along the A65 before a finish in Settle.

Stage two: Otley to Doncaster - 136 km

The second leg, which begins in the hometown of Olympic cyclist and 2014's Otley Grand Prix winner, Lizzie Armitstead, sees male and female cyclists ride the same route for the first time.

Past Harewood, the start of last year's Grand Depart, the route loops to the east of Leeds, then heads south towards Pontefract and into South Yorkshire for a finish in Doncaster.

Stage three: Middlesbrough to Scarborough - 198 km

The final day starts in Middlesbrough, which forms part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, before riders take a tour of market towns including Stokesley and Northallerton.

From Thirsk they will head on to Sutton Bank and through the national park before going over the moors to Whitby and finishing along Marine Drive in Scarborough.

The ceremonial start takes place at 11:10 BST with the race proper getting under way at 11:35 BST. It is expected the riders will finish the route at approximately 16:30 BST.

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