SETTLE is gearing up for undoubtedly the greatest sporting event in its history when some of the world's top professional cyclists arrive as part of the Tour de Yorkshire next Friday, April 29.

Television coverage in 174 countries across the globe will shine a bright spotlight on the small market town - and indeed the other towns in the county through which the three-day race passes.

But it's Settle that perhaps stands to benefit more than most, as it is hosting the finish of the first stage, which starts 185 kilometres earlier at Beverley.

Hopes are high that Settle and the surrounding area will receive a huge financial boost from the thousands of cycling fans who are certain to flock in to see their heroes - heroes like Sir Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France, Thomas Voeckler, that race's leader 20 times, and Aussie veteran Matthew Hayman, who recently won the gruelling Paris-Roubaix one-day classic.

This year's Tour de Yorkshire is just the second edition of the race, which was inaugurated to build on the success of the 2014 visit of the Tour de France.

Instrumental in bringing both events to the area has been Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who said this week that he was sure Settle would provide a splendid setting for the stage finale.

So all sweetness and light then? Well, no. Some have questioned how much economic benefit the Tour will actually bring, while others have complained about the disruption caused by road closures necessary for the riders' safety.

The Herald understands these points of view. Nevertheless, we welcome the Tour de Yorkshire to Craven - it should greatly boost our economy and is indeed a marvellous sporting spectacle. We say let Settle enjoy its day in the sun - and hope the sun shines on the day!