Cycling is a hard sport for hard athletes and, it turns out, hardy spectators. Stage one coming through Pateley Bridge this Friday proved the point. In contrast with the glorious summer of 2014, when Yorkshire put its best weather on to welcome the Tour de France, stage one of this year's Tour de Yorkshire tested competitors with some strong Spring headwinds,
Kids who had celebrated by cycling to school in warm sunshine just a couple of weeks before now needed bribes of biscuits and fizzy drinks as they climbed up the hill to Greenhow to see the King of the Mountain contested They sat hunched against the shelter of dry stone walls in biting winds and cheered on the riders under double layers and woolly hats.
Down in the town, the bunting was out, the stencils were on the walls of local businesses, and the church had hoisted a bicycle on the steeple. There was a giant television screen next to the bowling green for people to follow the stage through to its conclusion. Riders talking in the press afterwards commented on the stunning scenery and great crowds throughout the race. Long may it continue!
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