Pateley Bridge welcomed crowds from across Yorkshire to share its time in the cycling world’s spotlight on Saturday.
From the moment Pateley’s part in this third Tour de Yorkshire was revealed in December - the week before its high street was crowned the best in Britain in the village category - the town’s shops, tearooms and schools, led by Nidderdale Chamber of Trade Chairman Keith Tordoff, jumped into action to ensure the picturesque town was looking its finest for the cameras.
Bicycles were mounted to walls and hung in every shop window in the town which also welcomed riders in the 2016 Tour.
Dacre and Summerbridge’s Silver Band were on hand to provide the soundtrack to the races whizzing between pavements packed with visitors attracted by the town’s beauty and recent success.
Mr Tordoff explained the impact the event will have upon the town.
He said: “It is massive to the economy and to the community. If the businesses are doing well, then the community is doing well.
“It means we are able to work with schools and churches, and everybody benefits from events like this, they bring people.
“It puts Pateley Bridge well and truly on the worldwide map.
“From that, we get visitors which in turn helps the local economy and sustainability.”
Landlord at the Crown Inn Dennis Audsley added: “The Tour de Yorkshire is great for a town like Pateley. Businesses and members of the public come together to enjoy the day, and of course, if we put on a good show, then people come back.”
Visitors commented on the community spirit on show, with Lynne and Bill Taylor commenting: “Pateley is always very welcoming. Whenever we come, we never feel like outsiders. We love it, and the Tour is a wonderful event, without a doubt.”
Vicky Gray and Katie Chandler took the opportunity to raise money for Pateley’s junior cricket club by painting people’s faces in Tour colours throughout the day.
And, cap donned and Tour flag in hand, 77-year-old Pateley resident Dorothy Smith proved the event holds appeal for cycling fans of all ages.
Mrs Smith said: “The Tour doesn’t just bring people here one day a year. There are cyclists in Pateley all year round, especially in the summer.”
High Street Fisheries owner Andy Morgan believes the town is as busy as it has ever been.
He said: “Events such as the Tour de Yorkshire are vitally important to the future of Pateley Bridge.
“We have got a lot going on with the 1940s weekend and agricultural show.
“The Tour is always welcome and very well supported. The town is as busy now as it has ever been.”
It was quite a day. The country’s best high street, putting on quite possible the county’s best show.
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