Organisers of cycling’s Tour de Yorkshire have renewed calls to extend the race to a fourth day after record spectator attendance figures.
An estimated 2.2m watched the three stages, taking in the east coast on Friday, Yorkshire’s market towns on Saturday and eight climbs on Sunday.
The overall winner was Belgian Serge Pauwels, with Otley-born rider Lizzie Deignan taking the women’s race.
Welcome to Yorkshire hopes a fourth day could be added as early as 2018.
Supporters lined huge stretches of the 304-mile (490km) route, with police estimates suggesting the event saw the highest number of spectators since the Tour de France Grand Depart came to Yorkshire in 2014.
In 2016, British Cycling said the race had “great potential” but still had “a bit to do” before a fourth day could be added.
Sir Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, said: “We want that fourth day.
“I think it’s really important for the sustainability of the race going forward to have a fourth day and to enable us to do two days for the women’s cycling as well.”
He added: “We’re talking to British Cycling about it, we will continue to have those conversations and there’s no reason why that wouldn’t happen.”
Estimated 2017 TdY spectator figures
Bridlington to Scarborough on Friday – 400,000
Tadcaster to Harrogate on Saturday – 800,000 (220,000 for women’s race, 580,000 for men’s)
Bradford to Sheffield on Sunday – 1,000,000
Source: Tour de Yorkshire
Pauwels, the 33-year-old Team Dimension Data rider, described the support from those on the roadside as “incredible”.
“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,” he said.