1. ITV Report

Tour de Yorkshire extended to four day event

Are you looking forward to seeing another day of the Tour de Yorkshire? Credit: PA

The Tour de Yorkshire will grow from three to four days in 2018.

Organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and A.S.O had been seeking to extend the race after its success over the last three years, and cycling’s world governing body the UCI confirmed the decision on Thursday with the four-day Tour de Yorkshire being included on their 2018 Europe Tour calendar between Thursday 3rd and Sunday 6th May.

The Women’s Tour de Yorkshire will also double in size next year, increasing from one to two days on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th May.

A general view of the start of the Women's race from Tadcaster to Harrogate Credit: PA

The news will bring far-reaching benefits to the county and further enhance Yorkshire’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination.

The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 following the hugely successful Tour de France Grand Départ 12 months previously, and it has since grown to become one of the sport’s best-supported and most exciting races.

This year’s event was broadcast live in 180 countries and a record 2.2 million fans lined the route. The race also generated £64 million for the Yorkshire economy and the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire remains one of the most lucrative events in the sport.

Competitors cycling up the Cote de Lofthouse during Stage Two of the Tour de Yorkshire Credit: PA

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “This is absolutely tremendous news and something we have long been working to achieve. We are grateful to British Cycling for supporting our application, and to the UCI for granting us this extension.

“Seeing the Tour de Yorkshire grow into what it is today is one of my team’s very proudest achievements and none of this would have been possible if the people of Yorkshire - and Great Britain - hadn’t taken the race to their hearts.

“This decision will help us attract even bigger names in the future and allow us to design a more varied and spectacular route.

Our race is growing in stature all the time and the next two editions will hold even greater prestige given that Yorkshire is also hosting the UCI Road World Championships in 2019. Cycling is booming across the county and today marks an exciting new chapter for our race.

– Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity

British Cycling Chief Executive Julie Harrington said: "We welcome the decision by the UCI to endorse the increase in duration of both the men's and women's races at the Tour de Yorkshire as a sign of the fantastic work done by Welcome to Yorkshire in collaboration with British Cycling in building an event which inspires people across Britain to get active by getting on their bikes.

The decision to grow the Tour de Yorkshire from three to four days means there will be eight start and finish destinations for the 2018 race, and these are set to be announced on Thursday 28 September.

Spectators watch stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire between Bridlington to Scarborough Credit: PA

The full route will then be unveiled at a high-profile press conference on Tuesday 5 December.