Millions of people flocked to the Tour de France in Yorkshire making it the grandest of Grand Departs.

The beauty and spirit of Kirklees and Calderdale shone out like a beacon and the man who made it all possible, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Gary Verity, basked in the glory.

“People still don’t realise how many places across Europe want to stage the Grand Depart and probably never will,” he said.

“The achievement to bring the Tour here and deliver on what we promised – the grandest of Grand Departs – gives me immense pride.

“Millions of people have seen the magnificence of Yorkshire and for me the emotion and huge smiles on people’s faces were just incredible.”

Mr Verity, chief executive of Yorkshire’s tourism agency, said the organisation and delivery of the Tour had been the experience of a lifetime.

“One day I will write a book about it all but not today. I am a bit tired!”

 

Mr Verity wasn’t the only one suffering a post-Tour hangover with thousands still high on adrenaline from a weekend which surpassed all expectations.

Some 2.5 million people swarmed across wild hills and dales and crowded cities, towns and villages with an estimated 60,000 trekking to the Holme Moss summit for one of the stunning highlights on Sunday.

“There were millions and millions of people,” said Mr Verity. “It’s impossible to know the numbers for sure because no one could count them.”

The economic impact for Yorkshire was estimated at £100 million but that figure may have to be revised upwards.

Mr Verity said the £100 million was “conservative” and added: “We might have to revise those economic impact figures after the scenes we have witnessed this weekend.

“Undoubtedly it will give a huge boost to the Yorkshire economy but it’s the images of Yorkshire people, Yorkshire pride and Yorkshire’s outstanding landscapes beamed around the world which have been simply priceless for the county.”

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