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VIDEO: Tour de France thunders through Nidderdale

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The Tour de France delighted families and committed cyclists as it thundered through Nidderdale on Sunday.

Passing Blubberhouses marked the exit from North Yorkshire of the Tour de France, but there was no desire to lament the Tour’s departure.

Rather Blubberhouses, perhaps the true cyclist’s ideal viewing point, proved to be one of the highlights of the county’s Tour weekend.

The roads around Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs were packed with cyclists who had highlighted the village as an ideal vantage point from which to watch Le Tour early on.

This blink-and-you’ll-miss it village, popular with cyclists and walkers throughout the year, was transformed for the day and deservedly commanded the eyes of the world - if just for a moment or two.

The church, threatened due to a lack of funding, launched a bid for safety by setting up a cake stall and selling viewpoints at its spot on the hill.

The crowd - including plenty of dogs - set up close to the road to savour the atmosphere early.

Many spectators were watching the race for the second time this weekend, having witnessed the incredible scenes of Stage One on Saturday.

Philip Livsey said: “It was fantastic, and such lovely weather for it, too.

“There were so many people in Blubberhouses. We hope it brings in a regular cycling event for Yorkshire.

“I think it is amazing how the people have taken it on.”

Blubberhouses resident Gill White added: “I would love to see Le Tour come to North Yorkshire again - or maybe something similar.”

But Blubberhouses had been selected from the start by many fans as the place to be for Le Tour Yorkshire.

Long time Tour fan, Don Pope-Russell drove from Birmingham on Sunday morning. He said: “Yorkshire has done a great job here.

“The cyclists themselves have said they are amazed at the crowds.

“I have watched the Tour de France for many years on television, but this is the first time I have watched it go by in person.

“Yorkshire did one hell of a job this weekend.”

Tour Maker Alex McQueen, 20, from Darley, was on hand to help the Blubberhouses crowds. He said: “I and the other Tour Makers had to make sure people stayed off the roads, and keep the space for riders clear.

“The main question I’ve been asked is where the toilets are!”

Nigel West of Stainburn has been involved in Le Tour Yorkshire for over 18 months.

He spoke of seeing the riders pass Blubberhouses, on an emotional day: “I just immersed myself in the whole thing.

“I went to the Team Presentation on Thursday, spoke with Gary Verity this week - I said thank you to him for bringing Le Tour to Yorkshire.

“I am hugely proud to be from Yorkshire. This is a defining time for the county.”

 

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