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Extending Tour de Yorkshire by another day a ‘no-brainer’ according to Gary Verity

Welcome to Yorkshire chief says everyone would stand to benefit

The decision to add a fourth day to the Tour de Yorkshire is a ‘no-brainer’ according to Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. The decision rests with British Cycling.

Verity first floated the idea of extending the race by another day last August, and even suggested there would be ‘two hilly routes and two flats’ in 2016. The decision was ultimately rejected by British Cycling, but in the immediate aftermath of this year’s race, Verity reiterated his belief that everyone stood to gain by holding a fourth stage.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, he said: “An extra day wouldn’t cost any money. UCI want it to be over four days, the teams want four days, women’s cycling want it four days, the public of Yorkshire wants four days. It’s a no-brainer.”

This year’s winner, Thomas Voeckler, would doubtless be keen as well. Speaking about the support given to him during the race, he said:

“I felt bad because I was more cheered than some British riders. It was like having a Tour de France stage in my home region, it was so amazing. I am not saying that because I am here, I really feel it. To see my name written on the road or on banners held by children really touches me. I have been a rider for 16 years and I have never seen anything like that.”

Verity paid tribute to Voeckler and said there was much to be discussed in the wake of this year’s edition.

“It’s been a huge success with bigger crowds than we had last year. The quality of the field was fantastic and I’m really pleased we have a fantastic champion in Thomas Voeckler – he is really popular with the crowds.

“We built on last year’s event and have some thoughts that we will debate in the office this week. Some of our ideas depend on if we get an extra day which will mean we can do a lot more for women’s cycling. Having a fourth day will have a massive impact. There is a lot more we can do, such as maybe having a time trial as part of the event.”

Verity believes that a fourth day would add another £10m to the economic benefits of the Tour to the region’s economy and at minimal cost.

Councillor Carl Les, the leader of North Yorkshire County Council, agreed with that assessment and expressed his support. "Spreading the organising costs over four days instead of three probably does mean it can be done at little extra cost, and we support Sir Gary wholeheartedly in his negotiations with the cycling powers.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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fustuarium | 8 years ago

We could follow the Dunkirk method and call it '3 days in Yorkshire' but actually make it four hoping BC wouldn't notice.

Or beat the Giro to the punch and have a Grand Depart in Japan (or failing that Norwich).

Ultimatly though, whilst I understand Gary's argument, I'd like to understand how we ensure we keep going for ten years and don't fizzle out in three.  Would going four days make ASO more likely to stay onboard, or just stretch council funding too far and so become unsustainable?

Sudor | 8 years ago

Next year we need a "t'grand depart " of TdY in Wigan to help introduce Lancashire to what their missing!



muppetkeeper | 8 years ago

Come on BC, give us four days!! Us Yorkshire folk may even warm up to Lancastrians in that time, but maybe not Londoners...

Sanderstorm | 8 years ago

I love the ToB, but it's very spread out. I only ever see one stage. The massive advantage of the TdY is that you can go to Yorkshire and watch all the stages. I bet the teams appreciate the shorter transition time too.

vinnymarsden | 8 years ago

The thing is about British Cycling is that thy have protected the TOB for years, and one of the reasons that the TDY is now so popular is simply that the TOB ought to be renamed the Tour of the North West...finishing near Stoke!

I cannot recall the last time it ever had any real presence in Yorkshire, hence the TDY was conceived and is in my opinion now more popular than the TOB.

British Cycling must look at the crowds around Yorks for both runnings and realise the massive error they have made by neglecting the region for so long, but then again everything at BC appears to be clouded in some kind of secret fog in the last 3 or 4 years, so the flawed decision making re TOB route/s comes as no surprise does it

Woldsman | 8 years ago

Not 100% convinced about the numbers (both punters & pounds), but surely British Cycling will grudgingly give us that fourth day - Thursday or BH Monday, though? - they need all the friends they can get right now, don't they?

arfa | 8 years ago

I would love to see a stage with far more climbing in it with more of the steep stinger hills like Sutton bank in it to get riders thinking carefully about their gearing. It was interesting to watch some of them having to mash their gears hard up Sutton bank and a few more climbs like it could have thrown a few more tactical curve balls at the peleton. For example, in close proximity, there's Boltby bank, Hawnby, Rievaulx, Bransdale and the infamous Rosedale chimney that are not only scenic spots but also vicious gradients that would make you think about your rear cog. I know some of the roads are on the narrow side but it would be great viewing.
PS don't tell everyone but some of those roads see very little traffic and are great places to ride

Morat | 8 years ago
1 like

I watched it, it was fantastic. Quite why it's worth going to watch a bike race for 10 minutes  I don't quite understand but it's great. The crowds are huge but spread over such a huge distance that you can get as close as you like and everyone really enjoys it.

Special kudos for the Tractor Rally (which has been running for many years) which came through Hutton-le-Hole as an unofficial sort of warm up act   1

Why not 4 days? and why can't the women have a 4 day race too? Wouldn't that make it a rare race for them? It seems stupid that to get an equal bike race, women have to do triathlon.


Awavey replied to Morat | 8 years ago
Morat wrote:

Why not 4 days? and why can't the women have a 4 day race too? Wouldn't that make it a rare race for them? It seems stupid that to get an equal bike race, women have to do triathlon.


the UCI limit stage lengths for the women to 140km, thats presumably why stage 2 was 136km instead of the 190km it was on the final stage, so theyd have to alter the route, and it also date conflicts with things like the 3 days of Bedford for UK teams and GP Elsy Jacobs and Tour of Chongming Island starts Friday for pro tour teams.

they arent insurmountable issues by any means, but its not as simple as saying hey lets just add another 4 day race to the calendar, BC would have to consider the impact as a whole, and not just think about generating more cash for the ASO coffers.

Yorkshie Whippet | 8 years ago

Come on British Cycling, just admit Tour de Yorkshire is better than Tour of Britain and give TdY more support.  Give us one more day.

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