Millions watch Tour de Yorkshire 2018

Tour de Yorkshire 2018 in Filey (?) Image copyright SWpix
Image caption Crowds lined the road and bank-side by Filey seafront on Saturday, taking the three-day total to 1.7 million

More than two million spectators took in four days of spectacular cycling action in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.

The race, extended to a fourth day for the first time, reached a dramatic conclusion in Leeds with Stephane Rossetto claiming victory in the final stage.

Greg van Avermaet won the overall men's race and Megan Guarnier won the women's race, contested over two days.

The event started in Beverley on Thursday and snaked around the region.

It finished at the Headrow in Leeds on Sunday.

On Stage One, 23-year-old Harry Tanfield became the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de Yorkshire after a 182km (113m) route to Doncaster from East Yorkshire.

Image copyright SWpix
Image caption Harry Tanfield, from North Yorkshire, took the first stage of the 2018 tour in Doncaster
Image caption A pub in Walkington, near Beverley, created Yorkshire pudding bunting for the race

Tanfield, from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire and riding for Canyon Eisberg, said he "never ever dreamt it would happen".

Dutch rider Kirsten Wild replicated a similar 2016 women's Tour de Yorkshire victory by winning a sprint finish to the line to claim Stage One.

The second stage started in Barnsley and ended with a categorised climb to the finish line on Ilkley's Cow and Calf.

Image caption A hedge in Conisbrough, Doncaster, gave riders a very Yorkshire welcome on day two
Image caption Words of encouragement were offered from a washing line in Elsecar, Barnsley

American Megan Guarnier marked her 33rd birthday by winning Stage Two and taking the overall women's Tour de Yorkshire title.

Richmond hosted the launch of Stage Three, with the peloton calling in on several market towns including Leyburn, Northallerton and Thirsk.

Image caption Megan Guarnier led the climb up the Cow and Calf in Ilkley and took the women's Tour de Yorkshire title
Image caption The Cow and Calf above Ilkley was the toughest climb of Stage Two of the race on Friday

As the race reached the coast, German Max Walscheid took the win on Scarborough seafront.

He said: "The scenery, the people and the weather were all incredible" and the route was "demanding but spectacular".

"I've ridden famous races like Paris-Roubaix before but never seen crowds like that," Walscheid said. "This win was one of the proudest moments of my career."

Image caption The 181km route of Stage Three started from Richmond
Image caption A family watched the race with a picnic in Richmond

The refurbished Piece Hall in Halifax provided a grand starting point to the race on its final day, Stage Four, with competitors later ascending Haworth's cobbled Main Street and entering the Yorkshire Dales.

After a day of unrelenting climbs, riders entered Leeds for the final push towards the finish line on the Headrow, with French cyclist Stephane Rossetto winning Stage Four.

Belgian Greg van Avermaet won the overall race.

Image caption Thousands of people watched the race from the road side - this was the view in Filey
Image copyright SWpix
Image caption Stage three winner Max Walscheid said he had "never seen crowds like that"

Thousands of amateur cyclists took on the Tour de Yorkshire Ride hours before the men's race set off, with the longest route stretching 129km(80m).

Welcome to Yorkshire's chief executive, Sir Gary Verity, said: "Once again the number of roadside spectators was utterly unbelievable. Every village and town along the route was packed with smiling faces."

He added: "We were treated to some great racing in brilliant sunshine."

Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Image caption Spectators lined the streets of Haworth to watch the race
Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Image caption Competitors rode through Haworth during Stage Four of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire

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