How the Dales welcomed Tour cyclists

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Bunting fluttered in the breeze above Leyburn’s picturesque market place as the crowds massed to catch a glimpse of the world’s cycling elite.

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The peloton passes over the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire

The peloton passes over the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire

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News that the caravan would soon arrive brought hush for the first time in a day that had been filled with chatter, laughter and music.

For just a moment everyone seemed to hold their breath and strain to hear for the sounds of the convoy arriving.

But the carnival atmosphere was soon upon us once more as police officers riding past on motorbikes gave high-fives to children and a huge cheer erupted at the sight of a Yorkshire Tea truck.

For residents like 75-year-old Pat Weymes, whose home overlooked the route, that pride in her home county gave the day huge meaning.

“‎I’m passionate about the Dales. It’s wonderful. I’m feeling quite emotional,” she said.

‎Alan Woof, 69, was in a prime spot more than sev‎en hours before the riders were expected.

“As it’s built up, we decided to come along,” he said. ‎”It’ll never be here again in our lifetimes I wouldn’t have thought.

“It’s good for Yorkshire. There’s no doubt about it.”

Rachel Phillips, who lives in nearby Harmby, said: “By the time they come through and it gets to the evening, hopefully everyone will have had a great day. It’s really magical, isn’t it?”

Cycling enthusiast Steve Davis had travelled from Nottingham to share the moment with three generations of his family.

‎”It was fantastic really - the build-up and the atmosphere. It’s really hard to explain it,” he said.

“You only see them for a minute but to actually be here is absolutely fantastic.”