By Matthew Whittle,Alison Heppenstall and Nik Lomax in The Mighty.
Competitors in the second Tour de Yorkshire cycling event have begun their three-day route through many of the region’s towns and cities, racing toward the finish line in Scarborough. This event has largely been developed off the back of the success of Le Grand Départ – the opening stages of the Tour de France – which was hosted by Yorkshire in 2014.
Yorkshire’s leg of Le Grand Départ was viewed as a great triumph, generating £128m for the local economy and attracting an estimated 3.6m visitors to the region. It was said that the event would boost the popularity of cycling – and indeed, the sport is undergoing something of a renaissance in the UK.
But up until now, there has been no detailed research on who attended Le Grand Départ – so there was no telling whether the event did reach out to a new audience. Now, we have used a unique dataset to investigate whether Le Grand Départ was attended by all sections of society – or just “the Mamils” (middle-aged men in lycra).
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