‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire!’ shouted the crowds. . .

They went this fast! Riders race through Hebden Bridge during Le Tour. Photo by Lauren Wafer-Kiddle
They went this fast! Riders race through Hebden Bridge during Le Tour. Photo by Lauren Wafer-Kiddle

A sea of yellow spectators eagerly lined the narrow Hebden Bridge streets for ‘a once in a lifetime’ opportunity to catch a quick glimpse of the world’s best cyclists.

“Yorkshire, Yorkshire,” the crowd shouted as the Tour de France cyclists whizzed by, down through Keighley Road and onto Burnley Road.

The break away riders made their way through first, just after 1.30pm, and were soon followed by the peloton, with the stage one winner Marcel Kittel standing out from the bunch in his yellow jacket.

The streets were lined with people, some that had been there since the early hours of the morning and others that have travelled far and wide to be a part of Yorkshire history.

Yvone Cawley, who travelled from Derbyshire, said: “There is such a buzz about in Hebden Bridge and it is great.

“The opportunity to see the race live was too good to miss.”

Simon Belt got a front row seat on Burnley Road for the race.

“It was absolutely brilliant. I can’t believe Hebden Bridge and Yorkshire is at the centre of the Tour de France.”

Before the race went through, there was a sense of anticipation and nervousness in the crowd. The publicity caravan started off with police on motorbikes racing through the centre of the streets, slowing down to “high five” onlookers.

Haribo, Fruit Shoot and Yorkshire Tea got the loudest cheers, as they drove by in specially designed cars and vans, throwing out bags of sweets, tea bags and herb seeds.

The excitement had started and Hebden Bridge had been waiting for this for at least two years.

Eric and Alison Hurley, of Cardiff, are huge Tour de France fans and decided to come to Hebden Bridge especially for the race, after the location was announced.

Mrs Hurley said: “We go on a boat every summer and this year we decided to visit Hebden Bridge because the Tour de France was here.

“We like watching the event and being able to say that we were a part of it.”

Calder Holmes Park was an official Tour De France hub and thousands of people took the opportunity to relax there through the day, and watch the race progress on a giant screen.