THIS year’s Tour de Yorkshire more than doubled its global television audience but saw large drops in the number of fans at the roadside and in the event’s economic impact, organisers Welcome to Yorkshire have confirmed.

The men’s and women’s races were watched by 28 million viewers in 190 different countries, up 124 per cent on 2018’s figure of 12.5 million.

But, according to an independent study by research group GRASP and Leeds Beckett University, the roadside audience fell from 2.6 million spectators to just under two million.

As a result, the 2019 races, which took place between May 2 and 5, contributed £60 million to the county’s economy, significantly down on 2018’s record figure of £98 million.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s commercial director Peter Dodd said: “We’re really pleased with these numbers, especially the record-breaking TV figures - there is no other event which showcases all four corners of the county to a worldwide audience on a scale like this.”

The world’s best cyclists will be back in Yorkshire in September for the UCI Road World Championships and Yorkshire Para-Cycling International.