WAS THIS the day cycling became the national sport of Yorkshire?
Cricket fans might not agree, but the crowds which turned out in huge numbers for the beginning of the Tour de Yorkshire proved that the county has taken cycling to its hearts.
Bridlington had embraced its role as the host of the first race, and was awash with blue and yellow. Guest houses, homes and businesses along the town’s promenade had colourful bunting flying and spray-painted bicycles had popped up all over the place.
Its flagship venue, The Spa, which has hosted acts like The Rolling Stones, The Who and Oasis down the years, welcomed big names from the world of cycling who gathered on the start line outside the theatre’s doorstep.
There, the riders rubbed shoulders with a group of Elvis impersonators, before seeing who would be King of the road.
Presley-wannabe Bobby Diamond, from Hull, said: “Bridlington looks absolutely fantastic, there are a lot of people around making a great atmosphere.
Officially starting the race outside the Spa was Bethany Playforth, 21, who has cerebral palsy. Her support worker Mel Tebbitt said: “She has been so excited about being famous for weeks.”
The peloton headed to Sewerby Hall, where the competitive racing began. Morris dancer Denise Walker, said: “I think it’s great, I have never seen anything like it before in Sewerby. There were literally trains of children walking up main street.
“I think it would be great if it was done annually and even better if it came through Bridlington every year.”
In Seamer, famous for its annual horse fair, the locals turned out in force to show that it was not a case of four legs good, two wheels bad.
The Jennison family, Oscar, 5, Sophie, 4, and dad Luke were out with handmade signs supporting Wiggins.
Mr Jennison said: “They have loved it. They have been painting bikes and making signs. It passed right outside our house.”
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