YORK could be at the heart of a major new international cycling race coming to Yorkshire after the Grand Depart this summer.

Emails seen by The Press show the city is pencilled in as host for a stage finish and a major part of the race, although organisers Welcome to Yorkshire have said no final decisions have been made.

The news came as a row erupted over the city council's handling of budgets for the Tour de France, after figures emerged showing the council was likely to have overspent by £60,000 on the event and was saved from further bills by extra cash from the LeedsCity Region.

A leaked internal paper written by council communities director Sally Burns shows the Grand Departy at Huntington Stadium cost £206,000 to stage but only brought in £19,000, making a loss of £187,000.

Council-run campsites lost the authority £33,000, and a single supply plan for safety barriers, stewards and medical suppliers left York with a bill £110,000 higher than anticipated.

But she said the weekend could have brought in as much as £150 million for Yorkshire - £50 million more than anticipated.

In a statement yesterday, Ms Burns said the plan has come in "broadly within budget" and the overspend of £60,000 would be covered by the council's existing events budget.

“We’re already seeing the economic impact of this extraordinary event. The weekend saw an estimated 100,000 people celebrating le Tour in York, not to mention those who came from far and wide to witness and be part of the fantastic 100 days cultural festival here in the city and across the region."

The city has also benefited from the worldwide media coverage of le Tour, she added.

Opposition councillors criticised "behind-closed-doors" decision-making and a lack of proper business planning.

Liberal Democrat leader Keith Aspden said: "There are serious questions to be asked as to how the council lost money on the Tour de France.

“We argued all along that Labour needed to produce a proper public business case backed-up with detailed financial plans for these events.

“Despite the mistakes made by the Labour run council, I am pleased that overall the Tour De France has had a positive impact on York businesses and the wider Yorkshire economy."

Conservative leader Chris Steward also said lessons must be learnt from the budget problems, especially with the Tour de Yorkshire likely to come to York.

But Cllr Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “Although we are disappointed the event was slightly over budget, overall the event was a huge success and Labour being prepared to invest this money to support local business and a cycling legacy for York we feel was the right decision for the city. The economic impact was significant.

"Cllr Aspden’s comments do little to hide the fact that the Lib Dems were always against bringing the Tour De France to York, seeking to undermine it at every opportunity, including in plans for camping in the city. On that they were successful."