Awards delight for local heroes who made the Tour de Yorkshire sparkle

The winners at yesterday's event with Sir Gary Verity and James Mitchinson.
The winners at yesterday's event with Sir Gary Verity and James Mitchinson.

Olympic cycling champion Greg Van Avermaet took the men’s sporting honours as record crowds flocked to the Tour de Yorkshire earlier this year.

But the Belgian rider wasn’t the only winner at the event, with the stunning scenery of the White Rose county joining him in the spotlight during four days of profile-raising action.

And yesterday there was richly-deserved recognition for some of the towns and villages that turned on the style and helped showcase Yorkshire to visiting fans as well as millions of TV viewers in 190 countries.

Ilkley and Kippax, both near Leeds, and Hornsea, on the Yorkshire coast, were announced as the winners of a ‘best dressed’ competition for communities along the route of the race.

Ilkley was named best dressed host location for its visual efforts as it staged the final section of the event’s second day, while Kippax and Hornsea scooped the village and town titles respectively.

Yesterday’s prize-giving celebration at the Leeds offices of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire also saw Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham, announced as the winner of the annual Tour de Yorkshire land art competition.

The roll of honour was completed by Sam Whitley, who was presented with an award entitled Spirit of The Tour for her work to ensure her home town of Garforth made the most of the event’s visit.

Sam, who has lived in Garforth all her life, said: “This isn’t an award for me, it’s an award for Garforth and the volunteers, businesses and schools who got involved and helped make the day so memorable.”

Kippax’s award was collected by three of the people who spearheaded its Tour celebration – parish council chairman Doug Morley, local trader Paul Flintoft and long-time village resident Dominic Woolnough.

Doug told the YEP: “It was a fantastic day. I’ve lived in Kippax a long time and I have never seen it as crowded.

“We got so much support from people in the village and without their help it wouldn’t have happened.”

The two competitions were backed by The Yorkshire Post, with editor James Mitchinson and Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity on hand to present the prizes yesterday.