First ever Tour de Yorkshire ‘may boost the county economy by £40m’

Welcome to Yorkshire's Gary Verity unveils the routes of the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire. Picture by Paul Atkinson/ PA Press.

Welcome to Yorkshire's Gary Verity unveils the routes of the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire. Picture by Paul Atkinson/ PA Press.

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The debut Tour de Yorkshire cycle race could bring up to £40million into the county’s economy, according to organisers.

The three-day international cycling event, which will finish in Roundhay Park on May 3, will bring world class stars including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel to the region almost a year after the Tour de France Grand Depart.

Gary Verity, chief executive of co-organisers Welcome to Yorkshire, hopes the race will keep up the two-wheeled momentum in Yorkshire, predicting that around a million roadside spectators will welcome riders from May 1 to 3.

The 50-year-old feels the first Tour de Yorkshire could be another big hit after last July’s Grand Depart brought an estimated £102m to the county.

Although the true cost of the race is not yet known, given that it is backed largely by private sponsors, it is believed that the event will come in at a snip in comparison with the £27m Grand Depart.

Mr Verity told the YEP: “Proportionally you could say it has the potential to be as significant as the Tour de France. It wont be as big as the Tour but it could be £30m or £40m given the right weather and conditions.”

Sir Bradley Wiggins is set to take part in the first Tour de Yorkshire. Picture by Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Sir Bradley Wiggins is set to take part in the first Tour de Yorkshire. Picture by Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

The event, co-organised by Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation, will feature a May 1 Bridlington to Scarborough stage and a ride from Selby to York on day two before May 3’s Wakefield to Leeds finale.

The race, which holds a 2.1 European Tour UCI classification, will be broadcast to 140 countries around the world. It also features a May 2 women’s race and May 3 sportive ride for thousands of amateur cyclists.

Mr Verity added: “I’m thrilled for Yorkshire for every business and local authority and everybody who’s chosen to get involved with this event that will potentially go on for decades and will be there for our children and grandchildren. It will benefit the economy going forward.”

Visit letour.yorkshire.com for further information.

Artist Ruth Spencer Jolly who composed 'European Unison' an ensemble written for 28 pianos, representing the members of the European Union and symbolising Brexit, following a preview of her work at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2017. The composition tells the story of the EU from its birth to Brexit. The ensemble of pianos is a metaphor demonstrating "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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