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Settle will host grand finish of Tour de Yorkshire 2016 stage

Settle has been chosen to host the finish of the first day of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2016.

Settle Town Hall 2

The picturesque market town will cheer home the elite cyclists on Friday April 29 - the first stage of the event which begins in Beverley.

The riders will speed through the Selby District, Knaresborough, Ripley and Pately Bridge before travelling through Grassington, Threshfield, Cracoe, Gargrave, Hellifield, Long Preston, Giggleswick and finishing up with a 12km loop around  Settle.

The huge crowds will also be entertained by Race Ambassadors and a Tour de Yorkshire Caravan which will visit key points on the route before the race starts. 

Councillor Richard Foster, leader of Craven District Council, said: "We're thrilled that the Tour de Yorkshire will pass through so much of our amazing countryside and it's very exciting that Settle will host the finish of the first stage.

"The Tour de France was fantastic for our area and the Tour de Yorkshire has proved its success this year.

"We were keen for other parts of the district to reap the benefits of a top-class cycle race and I'm sure Settle will rise to the occasion.

"The race will loop around Settle so anyone watching there will get the chance to see the riders up close not once but twice.

"With spectators likely to travel from far and wide, and television coverage around the world, this will be a great boost for tourism and the local economy."

The announcement was made at a launch event in Otley on December 9 where Welcome to Yorkshire's Sir Gary Verity and A.S.O.'s Christian Prudhomme unveiled the full route.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "For next year's race we've selected routes which showcase Yorkshire's stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event.

"Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world - not many races can say that. The stages we've revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out."

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: "I am always happy to be back in Yorkshire and today marks an important milestone for the race. Feedback from teams and riders last year was excellent and this year we have three stages which together create a race right to the end; the final King of the Mountain points are barely six kilometres from the final finish line."

The council has already agreed funding for the event up to £170,000 to cover not only hosting the event but making sure the town of Settle will get maximum benefit. The Council will also seek support from partners and sponsorship.

The first Tour de Yorkshire took place this year and was a great success, bringing top international teams and cycling stars to the county.

It was covered live on ITV4 and British Eurosport and viewed in 177 countries around the world, with millions of page views to the Tour de Yorkshire website and hundreds of journalists attending the event.

The race runs from Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1, 2016, and builds on the massive success of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in 2015 and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014, all of which have raced on some of North Yorkshire's most challenging roads, with the event combining maximum entertainment with minimum disruption.

North Yorkshire County Council is working with partner organisations - including the event organisers, district councils and the emergency services - on a highways operation to facilitate the race while maintaining vital access for local residents, visitors, and businesses. 

Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: "For the past two years, the County Council has risen to the challenge of hosting a world class cycling event on its roads.  The inaugural Tour de Yorkshire confirmed the ability of North Yorkshire residents to embrace this event, following on from the success of the Tour de France and recent reports have demonstrated their economic benefit to our county.

"The race in 2016 will require considerable planning and expertise to ensure that it can take place in the least disruptive way, while giving all those thousands of people who will undoubtedly want to visit North Yorkshire to see it, the access they need.  There will be a significant logistical challenge, to which the council and its partners will again respond, efficiently and effectively."

For this second Tour de Yorkshire, the impact in terms of road closures and parking restrictions will be kept to a minimum.  The majority of the route will see rolling road closures, which will generally last no more than an hour.  However at the start and finish area, along some of the climbs and some of the busier locations, longer road closures will be required to ensure the safety of the race and the spectators.  There will also be parking restrictions in place along the race route - further details will be made available nearer the race weekend. The county council will be working with transport providers, schools and businesses to plan for the event and to work around the closures.

"Given the significant amount of the route travelling on North Yorkshire's roads, there will undoubtedly be a degree of disruption associated with the race," added Councillor Les.

"However - just as with last year's Tour de Yorkshire - there will undoubtedly be considerable economic benefits for North Yorkshire from the influx of spectators and the television and media coverage, for which I think most people will recognise that a limited amount of disruption is a small price to pay."

Stage 2 on April 30, starts in Otley and ends in Doncaster, covering 135km, with 27km (20 per cent) in North Yorkshire. 

For more information go to http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/tdy