Tour de Yorkshire showed off the "best of Britain", says Theresa May

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The Tour de Yorkshire showed off the "best of Britain", Prime Minister Theresa May has said.

Mrs May praised the cycling race which returned to the region at the Bank Holiday weekend, drawing an estimated 2.6m fans to the roadside, including 900,000 on the final day.

She spoke after York Outer MP Julian Sturdy invited her to attend next year's Tour de Yorkshire, praising this year's "finest hospitality, with images of the UK's beautiful countryside beamed to millions around the world."

The most stunning photos from the Tour de Yorkshire 2018

At Prime Minister's Questions, he went on: "Do you agree that major sporting events like the Tour de Yorkshire provide significant economic benefits and investment in our regions and will you join me in God's Own County for next year's event?"

The PM replied: "It was indeed very good to see millions of people on the roads of Yorkshire cheering on the Tour de Yorkshire as it took place this Bank Holiday weekend.

The superb Tour de Yorkshire in pictures

"As you say, these events are not only hugely enjoyable for sports fans but they also bring huge economic benefit to the area and they show off the best of Britain in the world.

"And that's why I'm delighted that next year will also see the Cycling World Championships taking place in Yorkshire next September, bringing the world's best cyclists to Yorkshire, and we are providing financial support to these championships.

"And I am always happy to visit Yorkshire."

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Speaking after the question session, Mr Sturdy said: “After four successful Tour de Yorkshires now, and the incredible turnout for the Tour de France, it’s clear that our region is passionate about cycling. Yorkshire not only possess suitable and idyllic terrain for these events, but we have a strong brand as well.

"We don’t have the figures for this year’s event yet; but last year’s race reached a global audience of 9.7m across 180 countries. There was a £64m economic boost and it’s only increasing in popularity.

"To attract the Vuelta will be a real coup for Yorkshire and place us in good stead to collect the full set and host the start of all three Grand Tours.”