The 2017 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the economy by almost £64m, independent research shows.
A record 2.2m lined the route of the during the race weekend from April 28 to 30 – and spent 8% more than they did last year.
Spending on accommodation was up by 6.5% and sales of items such as food, drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 9%.
The economic impact study, carried out by Leeds Beckett University, showed that 86% of spectators were from Yorkshire with the rest from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
The race, which took in parts of North Kirklees, Huddersfield and the Holme Valley, was covered by Eurosport and ITV4. It was televised in 180 countries and watched by a global audience of 9.7m. Some 34 broadcasters covered the action compared with 22 in 2016 – with more than 140 hours of TV coverage devoted to the race.
The weekend also saw about 5,000 amateur cyclists – more than 50 of them from Huddersfield – take part in the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive race.
“Since we launched the race in 2015 it has grown year on year and is now regarded as one of the biggest and best supported races in the sport.
“People have really taken the Tour de Yorkshire to their hearts and we’re working hard to get it extended to four days in 2018 so we can to bring it to more parts of the county and generate even greater benefits.”
This year’s race attracted a stellar field of riders. Welcome to Yorkshire said it was confident of enticing more big names for the next two editions as the world’s best riders look to visit the county in preparation for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
The word is already out on the unprecedented reception the riders receive when they compete in Yorkshire.
This year’s winner, Belgian racer Serge Pauwels, of Team Dimension Data, said: “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.
“Over the winter my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie to warm up for the Tour de France but I said no, I want to do the Tour of Yorkshire.”