World-class cycling is set to return to North Yorkshire for years to come, with a three-day race set to begin in May 2015.

Discussions about the event have already taken place between Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and the organisers of the Tour de France.

Tour organisers have been captivated by the region’s diverse landscape and scenery and are trying to find it a regular place in the cycling calendar.

The proposed annual stage race will aim to form part of a lasting legacy from the Tour’s Grand Départ, which will be hosted in Yorkshire during July this year.

The new event could immediately outrank the Tour of Britain.

Kersten England, regional Grand Depart legacy lead and chief executive of City of York Council, said: “Securing a three-day stage race next year would be another step towards achieving our aim of a lasting sporting legacy from the 2014 Grand Depart. The race would support our ten year plan to make Yorkshire one of the best cycling regions in the world and critically it will help encourage more people to cycle, more often.”

Coun Dave Merrett, City of York Council’s cabinet member for transport, said the plans would help York increase cycling by 20 per cent by 2016, reinforcing the city’s reputation as a cycling-friendly city.

Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity told a national newspaper: “We will look to spread the event around Yorkshire so that places that haven’t received the Tour this year will get the benefit.”

Jonny Clay, cycle sport and membership director of British Cycling, said: “We need to be assured that all new international event applications meet a number of criteria.

They include legacy and sustainability so we’re not just looking for events which are successful in the short term but over many years and with obvious benefits to the wider cycling community.”

An original plan, to relocate March’s Critérium International race from Corsica, was shelved due to the unreliable Yorkshire weather, in favour of the new event in May.