Lining streets for a glimpse of Sir Bradley

The peloton goes up Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge
The peloton goes up Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge

The creativity and community spirit of the upper Calder Valley was showcased for all to see as thousands flocked to numerous events celebrating the arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Cycling fans lined the streets to catch a glimpse of stars of the saddle including Sir Bradley Wiggins as the race passed entered the valley via Ripponden, heading through Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge.

Before the race arrived, thousands of amateur cyclists took their chance to ride the route as they took part in a Tour de Yorkshire mass participation bike ride.

Keen to relive the excitement of last year’s Tour de France, the communities of the upper Calder Valley staged events to coincide with the arrival of the race and create a carnival atmosphere.

Despite a rainy start to the day, by the time the riders came through the sun was shining and people were cheering for Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The Manchester based cyclist, who was riding for his new team, ‘Wiggins’ for the first time, was sadly hidden deep in the pack but that didn’t stop “Go Wiggo” chants as the peloton went by.

Cycling fans will now be watching intently as the former Team Sky rider aims for the Hour Record in June this year.

Various groups organised a host of events in Cragg Vale over the weekend to provide a big race welcome for all.

Following on from the successful Cragg Fest at the Robin Hood pub on Saturday, in Hebden Bridge the town’s beer and cider festival allowed visitors to wet their whistle before and after the race.

And the Hebden Bridge Junior Brass Band provided musical entertainment throughout the afternoon to welcome the Tour into the town.

The atmosphere was electric as the build up to the big event began and there were roars of delight as the cyclists tore their way down into Mytholmroyd and through the valley. Hundreds lined the streets to play their part in the inaugural event.

Julie Buchanan, 53, and her son Ross, 11, picked their vantage spot in their home town of Hebden Bridge.

Ross said: “It was amazing, it was a lot longer than I expected, I thought they would come rushing past.

“I’m really glad I came to see it.”

Mum Julie added: “When it comes through your town, you have to be there to cheer them on. All power to the cyclists, I say.”

Dave Knight, 48, had travelled from Litchfield, Staffordshire, with his family to see the Tour de Yorkshire in Hebden Bridge.

He said: “It’s a really nice place to watch it go through, it was absolutely fantastic.

“If it’s going to be a yearly event, we’ll definitely be making a trip for it.”

And Tour de France enthusiasts, the Noble family added: “It’s nice that everyone came out and it’s great that there is still support there after the Tour de France.

“Hebden Bridge is a really nice place for it to go through.”