Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) yesterday said a fourth day would be added to the popular legacy race, which has run for three days since it was set up after the region hosted the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in 2014.
The additional day, which now expands the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire to run over two days, has been confirmed by cycling’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) who will feature the race on their 2018 Europe Tour calendar between May 3 and 6.
The move to extend the event could be worth more than £10m, according to North and West Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive at Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire has gone from strength to strength since we launched it in 2015, and the financial benefits it brings to the county have also increased year on year.
“With the race being extended from three to four days, we certainly expect this trend to continue upwards in 2018 and that communities and businesses across Yorkshire will reap the additional rewards.”
The Tour de Yorkshire generated around £60m for the region’s economy in 2016.
That figure grew to an estimated £64m when the event took place this year.
Mark Goldstone, head of business representation and policy at West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Yorkshire continues to benefit from the inspirational Grand Depart of 2014 which set the bar for the world’s largest sporting event to new and higher levels and so it is really great to see the Tour de Yorkshire expanded to take in a further day.
“Three days of cycling was never enough to take in the splendour of God’s Own Country and four days will barely do it justice either, but nonetheless it is a further day to show the world why they need to come and spend their money here. “
The extension means there will now be eight start and finish destinations for the 2018 race, which will be announced next Thursday.
The full route will then be unveiled on December 5.
Mr Goldstone said the expansion was an opportunity to make sure the whole county can reap the economic benefits of the legacy race.
He added: “The Tour de Yorkshire generated a spectacular £64m of economic benefit in three days this year and we would hope it generates at least £75m in 2018 with the additional day.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to spread the economic windfall over more of the county, whilst benefiting even more business owners and we wish the event organisers the greatest of success for 2018.”
The latest announcement comes after Yorkshire on Wednesday became the first place in the UK to be recognised by the UCI as a bike champion for its links to the sport.
The region is now officially classed as a UCI Bike Region after the ceremony in Bergen, Norway.