England

Tour de Yorkshire 'needs fourth day', organisers say

Crowds on the route Image copyright SWPix
Image caption An estimated 2.2m lined the Tour de Yorkshire route over the three days

Organisers of cycling's Tour de Yorkshire have renewed calls to extend the race to a fourth day after record spectator attendance figures.

An estimated 2.2m watched the three stages, taking in the east coast on Friday, Yorkshire's market towns on Saturday and eight climbs on Sunday.

The overall winner was Belgian Serge Pauwels, with Otley-born rider Lizzie Deignan taking the women's race.

Welcome to Yorkshire hopes a fourth day could be added as early as 2018.

Image copyright SWPix
Image caption The third day included eight categorized climbs, including Cote de Shibden Wall

Supporters lined huge stretches of the 304-mile (490km) route, with police estimates suggesting the event saw the highest number of spectators since the Tour de France Grand Depart came to Yorkshire in 2014.

In 2016, British Cycling said the race had "great potential" but still had "a bit to do" before a fourth day could be added.

Sir Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, said: "We want that fourth day.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Serge Pauwels won stage three and finished first overall

"I think it's really important for the sustainability of the race going forward to have a fourth day and to enable us to do two days for the women's cycling as well."

He added: "We're talking to British Cycling about it, we will continue to have those conversations and there's no reason why that wouldn't happen."


Estimated 2017 TdY spectator figures

Bridlington to Scarborough on Friday - 400,000

Tadcaster to Harrogate on Saturday - 800,000 (220,000 for women's race, 580,000 for men's)

Bradford to Sheffield on Sunday - 1,000,000

Source: Tour de Yorkshire


Pauwels, the 33-year-old Team Dimension Data rider, described the support from those on the roadside as "incredible".

"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," he said.

Image copyright Getty/Allsport
Image caption The route took in some of Yorkshire's best-known sites, including the cobbled Main Street in Haworth

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites