From Harrogate and Haworth, to Otley and Oughtibridge they flocked in their droves to catch a glimpse of the Tour de France riders as they raced through some of the world’s most breathtaking countryside.
All along the route whether it was in towns and villages, or outside hillside pubs and farms, the crowds, 20 or 30 deep in places, cheered, clapped and roared as the cyclists flew by.
This was the 101st edition of the world’s greatest cycle race, and only the second time it’s started in Britain, but surely it has never witnessed anything quite like this.
Those fretting about the weather shouldn’t have worried, as it was always going to take more than a few spots of rain to dampen the spirits.
For most of the weekend the route was bathed in glorious sunshine matching the miles of colourful bunting that adorned houses, lamp posts and trees, as well as the yellow bicycles dotted along the streets.
The race began at Harewood House to great cheers on Saturday with the first stage finishing four-and-a-half, gruelling hours later to a frenzy of noise as the riders charged up to the finishing line in Harrogate amid a carnival atmosphere in the packed spa town.
The drama and excitement continued yesterday as the cyclists made their way through the picturesque streets of York and on to “Cote de Holme Moss” – the most fearsome climb of the Grand Départ and one of the most stunning locations on the entire tour.
Once again the crowds gathered in their hundreds of thousands, lining the route from Knaresborough to Huddersfield, ahead of another barnstorming finish, this time in Sheffield.
It has been an unforgettable weekend that has brought communities together, showcased our wonderful landscape and created lasting memories, not only of our great county but the Tour de France itself, that will be talked about for many years to come.
We all know why Yorkshire is called God’s Own Country and now the rest of the world does, too.
Technical details: Nikon D3, 16mm lens, 1/800th sec at f11. ISO 200