There’s little bicycles in shop windows and colourful flags flying from the streets, towns are all set for the biggest sporting event to hit the Harrogate district since the Tour de France.
Cycling fans are getting excited at the prospect of the peleton of top cyclists, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, riding down Pateley Bridge High Street as the Tour de Yorkshire arrives today.
The first stage, which starts in Beverley and finishes in Settle, follows the River Nidd from Knaresborough to Ripley to near Brimham Rocks to Pateley Bridge before reaching the punishing Greenhow Hill.
The infamous steep, bendy narrow hill is expected to be the highlight of the Tour’s entire first stage.
Renamed the Cote de Greenhow Hill just for the day, the leading rider to conquer this dramatic 270m ascent will be awarded the first King of the Mountains jersey of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.
Nidderdale Plus has been encouraging local people and businesses to get involved and support this major sporting event and the Dales has responded on force with the area’s schoolchildren making their own bunting.
As well as the Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley, 38 of the riders this weekend have competed in the Tour de France.
Stage One today will see the peloton race through Tadcaster, Boston Spa, Wetherby, Kirk Deighton, North Deighton and Little Ribston.
Stage Two on Saturday of the race will pass through Harewood, East Keswick, Thorner, Scholes and Barwick in Elmet.
The riders will be coming through Boston Spa’s High Street at approximately 1.59pm.
A big crowd is then expected at Tadcaster when the riders, speed through the town centre at 1.50pm, approximately.
Wetherby will be taking its place in the spotlight when Olympic champion Sir Bradley and co arrive at 2.07pm.
The approximate timings which matter to cycling fans in Nidderdale today are:
Nidd: 2.32pm. Ripley: 2.36pm. Bedlam: 2.39pm. Burnt Yates. 2.40pm. Glasshouses: 2.55pm. Pateley Bridge: 2.56pm. Cote de Greenhow Hill: 3.02pm.
But even before the riders arrive, the crowds in Knaresborough will be entertained by a spectacular cavalcade of publicity caravans.
The latter will set off two hours before the racing starts and arrive at various locations ahead of the peleton.
The approximate timings for the publicity caravan are: Friday, stage one: Leeds Road, Tadcaster, opposite the Heineken Brewery, (noon) and North Street, Wetherby (12.20pm).
Stage one: A59, Knaresborough (12:40pm), Main Street, Ripley (12:50pm), Street Lane, Pateley Bridge (1:15pm)
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “The publicity caravan features some of the best-loved brands in Yorkshire, as well as the official Tour de Yorkshire artist and charity, and will provide a welcome and exciting new addition to the race.”
As previously reported in the Nidderdale Herald, there will be some road closures but, as a smaller race than the Tour de France, these should be much shorter, with the exception of those in the Greenhow Hill area.