Villages greet Tour in style

editorial image

Residents are putting the flags out and dressing up their village as the world’s elite cyclists and international media race through on Friday May 3.

Scholes has entered into the Best Decorated Village Award as the Tour de Yorkshire visits the village during Stage Two of the prestigious event.

Karen Nash, Susan Bowden and Janet Horkan have led the residents in making decorations for the village on what they describe as possibly the smallest budget ever.

“This has not deterred the residents and they have been sewing for the last month to make their own bunting,” said Janet.

“There are beautiful hand crocheted flowers on Scholes World Peace Flame.

“Children in the village have been making pom poms and painting. It has been a real community spirited event.”

Janet has constructed the amazing cyclist on the wall, along Main Street.

She added: “It is a great shame that the cyclists will not see much of the work as they fly through the village, however, residents will certainly enjoy the decorations and appreciate all the hard work and effort but in by volunteers. Thanks to everybody who helped.”

The Tour de Yorkshire is now regarded as one of the best supported and most colourful races on the world cycling calendar.

Following on from breath taking decorations which were put up for the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014, giant land art projects are being dotted along the route and entire streets lined with bikes, banners and bunting in what has become a tradition for the Tour de Yorkshire.

To honour that amazing support, Welcome to Yorkshire organises Land Art and Best Dressed competitions to reward communities.

Those who go above and beyond the call of duty to showcase their area have the chance to see their efforts beamed to millions of TV viewers in 190 countries across the globe.

The winner of the Land Art competition will be awarded the coveted Land Art Trophy while the four category winners of the Best Dressed Competition – which include Best Dressed Village, Best Dressed Town, Best Dressed Host Location and Spirit of Le Tour – will be presented with exclusive commemorative plaques to display in their communities.

Just down the Stage 2 route from Scholes, Shadwell will be showing the race on the big screen while a ukulele band plays.

And schoolchildren will be doing activities to encourage long term cycling enthusiasm, watching the women’s race in the school hall, and leaving early to see the men’s race speed past.

Peter Dodd, Commercial Director of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’re always hugely impressed by the imaginative ways people choose to celebrate the Tour de Yorkshire.

“We’ve had lots of entries for both competitions.”

The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 as a legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ. It is organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation.

The men’s race holds a 2.HC UCI Europe Tour classification and the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race was awarded 2.1 status in 2016.

Last year 2.6 million spectators lined the route for the 2018 edition, up from 2.2 million in 2017 and the 2018 edition was watched by 12.5 million TV viewers in 190 countries.

A Welcome to Yorkshire spokesman added: “The 2018 edition generated £98 million for the Yorkshire economy.”

Spectators lining the route for the Tour de Yorkshire will have a special treat in store with organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO confirming the publicity caravan and ambassadors tours are back for 2019.

This popular cycling tradition will see some of the county’s best-loved brands travel ahead of the men’s race on Thursday and Sunday, and behind the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race on Friday and Saturday in a spectacular parade of specially decorated vehicles who will excite the crowds by handing out freebies and keepsakes at numerous locations along the route.

Tour de Yorkshire will be in Leeds on Friday May 3 for Men’s Stage 2 and Women’s Stage 1 – Barnsley to Bedale.

Riders will enter the Leeds area from Castleford passing Allerton Bywater before entering Kippax. They will then pass through Garforth and on towards Barwick-in-Elmet (women 10.16 and men 15.48).

The route then goes through Scholes (women 10.20 and men 15.51), Shadwell (women 10.28 and men 15.59), Alwoodley, Bramhope and Pool, leaving the Leeds area over Pool Bridge, heading towards Harrogate and finishing in Bedale.

Estimated timings for points on the route of each stage are available on the Tour de Yorkshire event website: (http://letouryorkshire.com/timings) but are subject to change depending on variables such as wind speed, direction and how aggressively the riders race.

The proposed stop-off locations and approximate timings for the publicity caravan and ambassadors tour are:

Friday 3 May: The caravan will stop at Barnsley (12:30), Mapplewell (12:45), Purston Jaglin (13:13), Pontefract (13:19), Kippax (13:39), Garforth (13:45), Harrogate (15:00), Ripon (15:46), West Tanfield (16:07) and Bedale (16:31). The ambassadors meanwhile, will greet fans in Pontefract, Garforth, Kippax, Bramhope, Côte de Lindley, Harrogate, Ripon and Bedale.