As England bade a fond au revoir to the Tour de France, at least for this year, many are hailing the Yorkshire Grand Départ as the greatest ever.
Millions of spectators lined the routes of the two Yorkshire stages.
“I have seen that the people of Yorkshire love the Tour,” said tour director Christian Prudhomme. “I can see the Tour in their hearts and in their eyes. For that, I say thank you to Welcome to Yorkshire, and to everyone in Yorkshire who has made this Grand Départ so very, very special.”
The economic impact of hosting the world’s greatest cycling race has been conservatively estimated to be worth £100 million to the Yorkshire economy.
While Stage Three from Cambridge to London passed off without the drama of Stage One’s sprint crash, the rivalry between Yorkshire was palpable in a London Evening Standard column, reading: “Yorkshire was of course lovely as a starting point for the Tour de France, but it is fair to say that the race takes on a momentous quality once it reaches London. There’s nothing like the backdrop of Big Ben to give any event star quality.”
Approximately one million spectators lined the route once it entered London, with an estimated event profit of £13 million.
Air charter broker, Air Partner, meanwhile, was selected to fly the Tour de France participants from London to France for the next stage of the race, 8 July, from London City airport to Le Touquet in France.
“Following a full day of racing on 7 July, there was a very tight turnaround time to get the riders and officials over to France for the next stage to start on 8 July,” said Clive Chalmers, Air Partner’s UK director of commercial jets. “With no direct scheduled flights from London to Le Touquet, organisers looked to alternative solutions.”
This is the fourth time that stages of the Tour de France have been held in the UK, but only the second time the country has hosted Le Grand Départ. Prince William and Prince Harry officially launched the race at Harewood House in Yorkshire on 5 July.
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