ORGANISERS of the Tour de Yorkshire estimate the cycling event boosted York’s economy by £1 million as 450,000 watched from the roadside in the city.

The international cycling fixture, which is a Welcome to Yorkshire/ Amaury Sport Organisation race in association with British Cycling, will return next year with a new route through Yorkshire.

York may not feature as prominently as this year, with other towns and cities vying to be handed the prestigious roles of being at the start or the finish on each of the three days.

Initial estimates suggest the first-ever race, which also saw a women’s event before the men completed three laps of a route around the city on Saturday, brought in £1 million for the city’s economy.

One-and-a-half million fans lined the roadside in Yorkshire, and TV audiences in more than 150 countries witnessed the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins compete.

Visit York said it was too early to know the precise amount injected into the York economy, however, it could add in excess of an additional £1 million.

Karen Gordon, Visit York information centre manager, said: “There’s been a lot of excitement and hundreds of enquiries at our visitor centre about the Tour. Hotel bookings are always strong over a Bank Holiday weekend, however this weekend has been busier than ever.

“Only a handful of rooms were still available out of 6,200 hotel and guesthouse rooms across the city. This is fantastic news for us and demonstrates how sporting events are a real draw for visitors to the city.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “Once again we’ve seen staggering crowds provide a rousing welcome for these incredible riders.

“I salute each of the 144 riders in the men’s race and 98 in the women’s, and the 6,000 who took on the sportive. We thank the people of Yorkshire and the riders, the crowds, the tour makers, the ASO and our team at Welcome to Yorkshire should be immensely proud of the weekend’s achievements.”

He is predicting between £30 million and £40 million will be generated for the regional economy by the Tour de Yorkshire.

Stephen Royan, 58, of Easingwold, volunteered to marshal the event in York and said it would make sense for the Tour to return next year.

He said: “There’s enough support for it to run again.The race has been exciting and the support from the people here has been excellent. The riders went through the village where I grew up and where my parents live and it’s exciting to see international cyclists on your doorstep.”

More than 250,000 spectators are believed to have turned out to watch the first day of the tour as the race threaded its way through some of the most scenic parts including Whitby, Scarborough, Ryedale and the North York Moors.