The Tour de Yorkshire cycle race is to be hosted by North Yorkshire County Council for a further two years.
Following the success of the first two cycle races in 2015 and this year, the Council’s Executive has agreed to allocate £180,000 a year for the race in 2017 and 2018. The money goes towards the hosting fee for the event and the associated costs linked to the council’s roles and responsibilities.
The Tour is jointly organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sports Organisation, which also owns the Tour de France. It was first held in May last year as a legacy event after the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014.
In addition to the men’s three-day race, there is a women’s professional race. The County Council plays an important role in the funding, planning and delivery of the event, 67 per cent of which took place in North Yorkshire this year, including stage finishes in Settle and Scarborough.
The Tour de Yorkshire has firmly established itself on the international cycling calendar and has been praised for its stage routes and terrain, as well as the huge roadside crowds. County Council leader Cllr Carl Les said hosting the race provided significant local, national and international exposure.
“There is TV coverage in 178 countries across the globe and media coverage is estimated to be worth £116 million. The TV coverage provides a major opportunity to show the world the county’s fantastic communities and stunning landscapes,” he said.
“And the Tour is not only popular with visitors to the county. You only had to look at the crowds that lined the streets during last year’s event to see that residents have relished this sporting spectacle.”
Many towns and villages fully embraced the race, with painted bikes, flags, bunting and local events. It had been estimated that this year’s race generated £60 million for Yorkshire’s economy.
Cllr Les added: “The continued success of the race following on from the Tour de France Grand Depart has continued to cement North Yorkshire’s reputation as a top notch venue for hosting major international events.”
County Council officers will now work closely with Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sports Organisation on route design for next year’s race to ensure any disruption to the road network is minimised and the county is shown in its best light.