My View, Steve Gill: Tour cycling saw Yorkshire pull together

A bunch sprint to the men's race where Team Sky rider Danny Van Poppel came over the line first after a photo finish. Tour de Yorkshire - Stage 2 between Otley and Doncaster. Saturday 30th April 2016. Picture: Chris Etchells
A bunch sprint to the men's race where Team Sky rider Danny Van Poppel came over the line first after a photo finish. Tour de Yorkshire - Stage 2 between Otley and Doncaster. Saturday 30th April 2016. Picture: Chris Etchells
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Sir Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire, Doncaster Council and everyone who played a part in this weekend’s Tour De Yorkshire, I take off my hat to you.

What an amazing three days it has been, attention from all over the globe on our region as cyclists battled across three stages in beautiful, picturesque Yorkshire.

I was out in Bawtry with the crowds of people cheering on the riders, the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. There are so many reasons why this was good for the region and we at Doncaster Sheffield Airport are extremely proud to have played our part in the event.

As sponsors we had a car topped with our very own #PurplePlane, painted in the Welcome to Yorkshire branding which also appears on one of the FlyBe planes flying across Europe, driving the entire route. We also sponsored the winning Women’s Team jersey and were delighted to bring inbound tourists from Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin to Yorkshire with Flybe to watch the race.

Our relationship with Welcome to Yorkshire meant that by supporting the race we were able to be a part of it. A team from the airport took to the wheel of our #PurplePlane vehicle, and got to feel a fraction of the excitement that the cyclists feel as they pass the crowds. They received a warm welcome across all three stages of the event but were particularly proud of day two which say them in their hometown, passing home crowds to loud cheers.

This really was a weekend which saw Yorkshire pull together and show what we are capable of. As a region we are very strong and have some simply amazing assets. What we need to do now is build on this success and work together to really play a key role in the Northern Powerhouse.

Separately our towns and cities all have their own unique offering but together, as this weekend has shown, Yorkshire is great.

It has great people, businesses and more importantly than that great ambition.

We are a region that is willing to say yes, and welcome new opportunities.

We’ve been thrilled to work this closely with Welcome to Yorkshire and have mapped out a relationship that will take us beyond 2016. As Welcome to Yorkshire’s official airport partner and with their official airline partner Flybe we put our full backing behind this event and are now looking forward to working with them to further raise the region’s profile internationally.

Flybe’s establishment of a new base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, resulting in an extra 42 flights per week, is already helping us to raise the profile with a fully branded plane taking passengers too and from European destinations - this is just the beginning!