IT may not have been the hearts of just Craven's cycling fans that sank a little when they rose to see a sprinkling of snow over the area on Friday.

Settle's early rising shopkeepers, too, could have been forgiven for a little dismay – for the first stage of the second Tour de Yorkshire cycle race was due to finish in the town that afternoon.

Snowfall was followed by grey clouds and cold more suited to a dank January day than just before a May Bank Holiday.

On Friday morning, council chiefs and traders may have wondered if the whole event was going to be a damp squib for Settle and the other Craven villages on the race route. Would fans, deterred by the weather, stay away in droves?

Well, they need not have worried. Morning arrivals soon saw they were not alone. The town gradually began to take on the look of a convention for lovers of multi-hued rainwear, and good humour was everywhere – cycling fans are obviously both a hardy and a convivial bunch.

Excitement grew as spectators converged on Settle's narrow streets to enjoy the pre-race entertainment – and to spend their cash.

Before the three-day race, concerns – valid ones – were expressed about the disruption to residents of road closures and questions asked about the actual economic benefits it would bring.

Well, initial estimates are that Yorkshire will get a boost of about £50 million, partly thanks to TV exposure around the world. But it should not be just about cold hard cash – the thousands who saw the Settle finish witnessed a superb sporting spectacle.

The Tour de Yorkshire seems here to stay. Congratulations should go to the organisers, especially Welcome to Yorkshire's chief executive, Sir Gary Verity, and to Craven District Council for backing it so assiduously.