Tour De Yorkshire targets four day event

Organisers of the Tour De Yorkshire have confirmed that they are looking to extend the men’s race to a four-day event.

When asked about extending the race, Nick Howes, press officer for Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Definitely, that’s how we want to grow the race.”

“Having that extended time will mean we can attract better riders and have more of a varied course.”

Howes also confirmed that plans are underway to extend the women’s race to a two-day event. The women’s event was introduced as a one-day race in 2016 and at the time was the most lucrative race for female riders.

This year’s event was won by Belgian rider Serge Pauwels of Team Dimension Data who broke away on the final stage into Fox Valley to claim victory by six seconds over teammate Omar Fraile. The women’s race was won by Yorkshire’s very own Lizzie Deignan.

The 2017 Tour De Yorkshire saw a record number of roadside spectators with 2.2 million lining up on the roads of Yorkshire to watch the race, an increase of over 200,000 from last year’s event. Howes said “The race has grown year on year in terms of support.”

The high number of spectators has started to have an impact on the peloton. Howes added that word is getting out amongst cyclists about the crowds that turn out for the race, they can’t believe how big these crowds are and the welcome they get.

Spectators awaiting the peloton during the final stage of the Tour De Yorkshire.

Due to the success of the 2014 Tour De France Grand Depart that began in Yorkshire and the subsequent three editions of the Tour De Yorkshire, the country was awarded the right to host the 2019 World Cycling Championships. Howes added that every Tour De Yorkshire event is now a dress rehearsal for 2019.

Speaking about the logistical planning of adding another day to the race, Howes said: “It is a busy calendar, but we are happy where it is, especially given the Yorkshire weather in October and November.”

“The race attracts two sets of riders, those carrying condition from the spring classics, and those using the event as the last stop before the grand tours.”

Speaking about next year’s event, Howes said that they will take a bit of time to look at what worked, what didn’t, where they could improve before the route organiser will sit down and begin to plan for 2018 next month.