Le Tour is almost here! Time to enjoy ourselves!

Mayor of Hebden Royd, Coun Jonathan Timbers, with the Cragg Vale world record  bunting now in place for the Tour De France
Mayor of Hebden Royd, Coun Jonathan Timbers, with the Cragg Vale world record bunting now in place for the Tour De France

The waiting is almost over, and one of the world’s biggest sporting events will be in the Calder Valley on Sunday!

Stage two of the Grand Depart of the Tour De France, the first time the world’s premiere cycling race has come to Yorkshire, will see riders swoop down Keighley Road, through part of Hebden Bridge and on to Mytholmroyd before they negotiate the country’s longest continuous climb up through Cragg Vale, en route to Ripponden, Elland and out to Sheffield.

The peloton is expected to come through at about 11.45am, with the riders following at approximately 1.40pm - all times depending on conditions.

Thousands of visitors are expected in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd over the weekend.

On Saturday, July 5, Mytholmroyd Gala takes place from noon and is a two-day event to link with the Tour this year, with a giant big screen spectator hub on the Burnley Road gala field on Sunday, July 6, and the riders will go right past it.

Sunday, July 6, also sees a huge official Tour De France spectator hub at Calder Holmes Park, New Road, Hebden Bridge, open from early in the morning, which has a giant screen, entertainment and space for up to 8,000 spectators, with the race also passing by.

Spectators are also expected to pack the route right up Cragg Vale, festooned with world record bid bunting, supporting the sport’s top stars. Both the Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd hubs have toilets.

Mayor of Hebden Royd Coun Jonathan Timbers, who joined Cragg Vale residents when the bunting was being measured, said people’s response to the once in a lifetime event coming to town had been fantastic.

“The community response to Le Tour has been tremendous and I’m delighted to support local groups on behalf of the Town Council that want to make the most of this historic opportunity,” he said.

Bob Deacon, chair of Hebden Bridge Partnership, said that in the morning the Mayor will be greeting visitors arriving by bus at the only official Tour De France designated visitor hub in the Calderdale stretch of the race at Hebden Bridge and handing them copies of the Welcome to Hebden Bridge brochure, produced by the Hebden Bridge Partnership.

Bob, together with Friends of the Railway Station, will be doing the same for those arriving by train.

“The idea is that visitors not only see the race but get to know the town and want to return again on a quieter weekend. Our concern is the longer term legacy of the race, the boost it will give the town as a visitor attraction and the consequent creation of employment.”

Then from noon the Mayor’s other appointments will include an afternoon spell at the White Ribbon campaign headquarters in Mytholmroyd, handing out leaflets explaining its work towards ending domestic violence.

The area’s arrangements are made - all that’s left to do is to come out and enjoy yourself, hiking up Cragg, or settling down at one of the hubs. Either way, the advice is to get there early.