Favourite moments of Harrogate Tour de France

The finish line almost in sight on July 5. Picture by Richard J Kish, member of Harrogate Photo Society (s).
The finish line almost in sight on July 5. Picture by Richard J Kish, member of Harrogate Photo Society (s).

To help celebrate Le Tour in our district, we asked readers to tell us what their favourite moment was.

Visit Harrogate’s Mike Newby: “My most memorable moment was on the Sunday. I was standing right by the road side in Starbeck and watching the cyclists go past me. It wasn’t just three or four it was a feeling of a draft as the cyclists went through and you could feel the effect of the community, all coming out to see the event.”

Harrogate Mayor Jim Clark said: “It was the excitement of the finish and seeing so many people there, so many happy people and it was absolutely amazing. The finish was tremendously exciting. It was a magical day but that was my highlight and the presentation of the jerseys with the royal family.”

Knaresborough Mayor Tony Handley: “It’s very selfish but my favouristical moment has to be hearing the crowd outside our house at 6am on the Sunday morning chanting “We want the Mayor, we want the Mayor” and their spontaneous reaction to me asking the awaiting BBC TV reporter whether we should keep the spots on the house. According to Welcome to Yorkshire, that 90 second interview clip was seen in over 160 countries around the world, putting Knaresborough well and truly on the map.”

Alzheimer’s Society services manager for Harrogate district Alison Wrigglesworth: “Going to Knaresborough and being on the high street. I waited for three hours and as the cyclists went past this woman screamed in my ear for about four minutes. It was a lovely atmosphere. It felt like the whole county had pulled together.”

Richard J Kish, member of Harrogate Photo Society: “I had claimed my vantage point six hours before the assumed arrival of the peloton. I sat down and waited.

“Three sandwiches and 2l of water later, the helicopters were finally heard about 3:40pm. There was no visibility to the far side of the bend in the road, so I couldn’t really determine how close the peloton was...until they were already in the bend, about 150m away.

I had barely enough time to jump into position and hit the shutter button. Everything seemed a blur as the riders streamed past, only inches from my camera. Within 10seconds, they were gone! I had just witnessed one of the sport-world greatest events...and it was over.My favourite moment was then ... after the peloton had just passed by...feeling the adrenalin racing through my body. Wow!”

Andrew Grinter, Knaresborough: “Being in Knaresborough market place as the crowds returned moments after the peloton had passed along the high street. “Heroes” by David Bowie was playing and the feeling was that we had all just witnessed something very special.

Readers had their say at our Facebook page:

Maria Towse: “Watching live in Canada and seeing my mums house with the family all outside, as the race went through Starbeck.”

Janette Tear: “Getting married then hitting the fan park.”

Mark Patrick Doherty: “Seeing how many people turned up around Harrogate and district to support the event. Wonderful!”

Comments were also left on our website:

Under the user name ‘LapsangSouchon’, one reader posted: “Cycling to Harewood, and back to Harrogate afterwards, on roads closed to traffic, and just hundreds of people on bikes. Brilliant.”

“Waiting for the race to arrive at Cote de Blubberhouses on Sunday, listening to bagpipes, enjoying the carnival atmosphere, and watching the TV helicopters overhead.