A Tourmaker’s view of the race

York Press: Riders leave Harewood House on Saturday Riders leave Harewood House on Saturday

Press reporter Megi Rychlikova reports on being a Tourmaker.

I can pinpoint the moment when it really sank in that the Tour De France was coming to Yorkshire - Saturday, 7am. I and a score of other Tourmakers were in a bus as it went through the Road Closed sign onto the route in Leeds.

Here were the 1,000 or so road closures we had heard so much about. The Tour de France was here, and, as a route marshall, I had a privileged part in it.

After I was delivered and left alone on a road by Harewood House with no-one in sight but a safety marshall, I thought: “Suppose no-one comes.”

But they did, first on bikes, keen cyclists, family groups with little children, all making the most of the chance to ride one of Yorkshire’s busier roads in safety. I cheered them up the hill. Then they started coming on foot to stand by the roadside.

The children listened intently to me telling them about the publicity caravan and made it sure they got as many of its goodies as possible as it passed. By now the crowd was four-deep. As soon as the riders had passed the amateur cyclists grabbed their bikes.

Some headed north, confident of making it to Harrogate by the direct route before the riders by the Tour’s route. Others just rode the route again. I and my colleagues set off on a mile walk for the bus pick-up point.

So my Tourmaker shift ended as it began, standing by a quiet roadside in beautiful countryside watching the world go by on two wheels.

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