One million roadside fans watch epic 2017 Tour de Yorkshire finale
A record one million fans turned out to watch the epic finale to the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire which saw Serge Pauwels claim the stage and overall victory at the finish in Fox Valley on Sunday (April 30th).
Not since the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ has Yorkshire experienced such a huge figure on a single day of racing, and that bumper crowd on Sunday helped ensure the third edition was officially the biggest one yet with overall attendances rising from 2 million to 2.2 million year on year.
The finish line was at Fox Valley in north Sheffield – a new retail destination which opened in June last year.
Entire communities turned out on the roadside to witness the peloton pass though as they traversed the 194.5km route from Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield, and each of the day’s eight categorised climbs were also packed with masses of cheering, colourful and enthusiastic fans. The parcours was also lined with incredible, eye-catching land art as pictures of Yorkshire were beamed to a record 180 countries globally.
Spectators were treated to exciting action as well with Pauwels breaking clear on the tough concluding loop and he was joined by Dimension Data team-mate Omar Fraile before the race concluded in Stocksbridge.
The duo then pressed home their advantage with Pauwels leading Fraile over the finish line to seal the biggest victory of his career and a 1-2 for his team who also topped the Doncaster Sheffield Airport and FlyBe Team Classification. Jonathan Hivert (Direct Énergie) rounded out the podium six seconds later.
Thousands of people watched the dramatic finish from the Fox Valley in north Sheffield. Earlier in the day more than 4,000 cyclists took part in the amateur sportive which started and finished at Fox Valley.
The centre is owned and managed by Dransfield Properties Ltd, the company also has its heads office at the centre. The Managing Director Mark Dransfield made the presentation to the winning rider. The company’s charity cycle team also took part in the sportive.
Mark said: “The Tour de Yorkshire has been a fantastic event to be involved with and it was an extremely proud day for everyone who has worked so hard on making the finish here at Fox Valley such a great success.
“We hosted an event for the Tour de France Grande Depart in 2014 and this weekend’s Tour de Yorkshire finish definitely brought the crowds out again and showed what a fantastic part of Yorkshire we have here in north Sheffield.
“This has been a real team effort working with all the local communities who gave such a fantastic welcome to the riders.”
After the stage Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity was glowing as he reflected on another hugely successful Tour, and reserved special praise for the tremendous Yorkshire public who made 2017 another record-breaking year.
He said: “The last three days have been utterly unforgettable. I realise I keep saying it, but I could not be prouder of this great county we call home. One million roadside fans on a single day is a truly phenomenal figure and there are barely any week-long races in the sport that can command 2.2 million spectators, let alone a three-day event like ours.
“When I drove the route today there were smiling faces everywhere I looked and ‘The Yorkshire Terrier’ more than lived up to its billing as a stage to remember.
“I’d like to congratulate Serge on a hard-fought victory, and thank all the riders, partners and public who made this the best edition of the Tour de Yorkshire yet.”
Stage and race winner Serge Pauwels said: “I’ve cycled all around the world and my favourite three crowds are for the Classics in Belgium, those in the Basque Country, and here in Yorkshire.
“The support today was incredible. Over the winter my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie to warm up for the Tour de France but I said no, I want to do the Tour of Yorkshire.”
Full information on the Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire can be found at http://letour.yorkshire.com
Notes to editors:
• The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 to extend the legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ.
• The men’s race is a three-day event with a 2.1 UCI Europe Tour classification taking place between 28-30 April.
• The single-day Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire was awarded 1.2 status in 2016 and this year’s race takes place on Saturday 29 April.
• Two million spectators lined the route for the 2016 edition, up from 1.5 million in 2015.
• The 2016 edition was watched by 11.4 million TV viewers in 178 countries.
• The 2016 edition generated £60 million for the Yorkshire economy.
• Our ambition is to grow the men’s Tour de Yorkshire to a four-day race and extend the women’s race to two days.
• The race is supported by Yorkshire Bank, Asda, Virgin Trains, Dimension Data, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Flybe, Mug Shot, Aunt Bessie’s, JCT600, Tissot, Le Coq Sportif and Mavic.
For further information, contact:-
Public Relations Department, Dransfield Properties Ltd
Tel: 01226 360644