TENS of thousands of people across the district lined the streets yesterday to cheer on riders in the Tour de Yorkshire.

The third day of the race started off in Bradford’s City Park and the event was marked with a morning of music and cycle themed displays and activities.

The race weaved its way through Manningham, Baildon, Wharfedale, parts of the Dales, Skipton, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Queensbury and on to Calderdale and South Yorkshire as the afternoon went on, and every place it passed through gave the riders a warm reception.

After passing through the district, the cyclists made their way to Fox Valley in Sheffield, where the three-day race, which was screened on ITV4, ended.

Many areas along the route were well prepared for the TV cameras, with cycle themed artwork installed on hillsides and buildings in the weeks leading up to the races.

Community groups, schools and local councils had banded together to decorate their areas, with bunting festooning town and village centres.

And the helicopter-bound cameras following the race picked up on much of the aerial artwork, including two large pieces on the fields in front of Bradford Grammar School.

Good weather through the day also helped ensure the event’s success.

For the start of the race thousands of families and cycle enthusiasts descended on City Park, with activities taking place from early morning.

The Tour de Yorkshire was started after the success of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France which came to the county in 2014. Although the annual event has passed through the district before, yesterday was the first time it had come to the city of Bradford.

Day Three of the race had been dubbed the Yorkshire Terrier, and at the City Park starting line were Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive and founder of the Tour de Yorkshire Gary Verity and Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France.

City Centre manager Jonny Noble said hosting the race was a massive coup for Bradford. Attending the events in City Park, he told the T&A: “It is a huge boost for the local economy.

“It is an amazing, prestigious event. Everyone has worked really hard to bring it here.

“It is providing loads of opportunity to local businesses.

“I expect a lot of people here today either will be visiting for the first time, or might not have been to the city for a long time.

“It is an opportunity to showcase the city centre, and hopefully people will come back and spend a bit of money.”

Among the excited cycling enthusiasts attending the start of the race were members of Keighley-based youth cycling club Bronte Tykes.

They were among the scores of children given the opportunity to “start” the race, heading off shortly before the professional race began, and receiving just as warm as a reception as their older counterparts were to receive a few minutes later.

Coach Ben Howe said: “It will be fantastic for the kids. They’re all super excited. The chance to do something like this doesn’t come along every day.”

In the build-up to the race the world’s best cycling teams set up camp on Hall Ings and Norfolk Gardens, which had been closed off to traffic, with enthusiasts getting the chance to see the top of the line cycles used by the racers up close.

People also had the opportunity to learn more about local cycle groups, including bike libraries, where people can borrow a bike to learn to ride if they don’t have one already.

To improve City Park in preparation for the tour, Forster’s Bistro, which overlooks the park and has been empty for over a year, was opened up for the day as a hub for the Bradford Capital of Cycling.

As well as a pop up vegan cafe run by Dandelion, people spent the day popping in to have their bikes fixed, meeting up with other cyclists and taking part in spinner sessions.

David Robison, chairman of the Capital of Cycling, said: “It is still owned by Forster’s College, they have been kind enough to let us move in and liven up the place in time for the race.

“We’re bringing all the different cycle clubs together.

“There is a lot of good cycling activities planned for Bradford after this, so let’s hope after today the momentum keeps going.”

After watching the riders leave Bradford, the group took part in a ride to Queensbury to catch the race before it left the district.

University of Bradford student Vashil Jasgray, originally from Mauritius, volunteered in some of the Capital Of Cycling events and said: “It is a very exciting day to have this in the city.”

Entertainment on the day included music by Bradford band the Peace Artistes and the Huddersfield Brass Band, and street theatre featuring a pair of unicycling Frenchmen and a masked cyclist riding a steampunk contraption.

Once riders left Bradford, some people opted to stay and watch the remainder of the race on a big screen in the centre of the park.

And Bradford Disability Cycling Club held a number of cycle rides through the city as the day continued.

There were events held throughout the day to entertain the crowds in Lister Park, which welcomed the race for the first time, Roberts Park and the car park on Victoria Road in Saltaire, and Queensbury.

Many of the activities in Queensbury were held in Black Dyke Mills, where bands played through the afternoon and there were stalls for the crowds.

Barry Firth, owner of Firth Cycles which has just opened in Black Dyke Mill, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people down at the mill, the Tour has really brought the community together and got people down to the mill.

“We will be outside the archway which was reopened today to watch the bikes go by, it’s going to be great to cheer them as they go past.”

Vicky Mathwin, chairman of Queens of Queensbury Cycling Club, said: “We are really excited for the Tour to come through Queensbury.

“I’m going to be heading up to Shibden Wall to watch, they’ll be flying through the village so I want to go up there to see their pained faces.”

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