Historic scenes as 100,000 watch Tour de France in York

Pic: Frank Dwyer

Pic: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Pic: Nigel Holland

Pic: Martin Oates

Pic: Mike Tipping

Pic: Dave Harrison

First published in News
Last updated

YORK was turned into a festival of colour and excitement yesterday as the world's greatest annual sporting event came to the city.

Crowds of more than 100,000 gathered in the city for the start of Stage 2 of The Tour de France.

There were incredible scenes all along the route as local residents and fans from around the world cheered on the 198 cyclists.

Sir Rodney Walker, Chair of TdF HUB 2014 Ltd said: “Around 2.5 million spectators lined the route over two days and revelled in being part of history. The passion of the crowds in Yorkshire has really made this a weekend to remember.

"There has been a huge amount of planning and hard work from all the partners involved to ensure the first two stages were a success. We have once again showcased how the UK can deliver amazing events and a world-wide audience has seen the best of Yorkshire, and the best of the UK. I have no doubts the benefits of hosting the Tour de France in the UK will be felt both in the short and long term."

Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said: "This has been a truly momentous event for York and Yorkshire with millions of people around the world tuning in to see the city and county in all their stunning glory.

"The atmosphere in the city has been electric and residents and businesses have done us proud in welcoming the Tour and our visitors with such infectious warmth and excitement. What an honour it has been to host the world’s biggest annual sporting event here in York."

On Saturday, Stage One saw the cyclists ride from Leeds to Harrogate, via the Dales, Masham and Ripon, and there were astonishing crowds at Buttertubs Pass. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry formally began the racing, at Harewood House.

James Brennan of York Racecourse said the course was proud to have been part of a momentous day for York. He said: "Today once again shows the power of sport to inspire, to bring people together and to be of significant economic benefit to a city like York.”

Fans from around the UK and around the world descended on York for the historic day.

John Hickes and Janet Wilkinson, from Malton, were at the racecourse and John said: "It's very exciting. We're never going to see anything like this again. It was smashing yesterday."

Paul and Lyndel Walton had travelled from the Gold Coast in Australia to watch the event and cheer on the Australian team Orica Greenedge.

Paul said: "There was an amazing number of people."

Len Double, a former amateur rider, cycled in from Stillington with his teenage son, and said: "I think the support we have seen in Yorkshire is more impressive than I have seen in France.”

David Saunders, whose late father Guy commentated on the race in France for many years, said: "He would have been so proud to see the race in England. It's a bit of an emotional day for me."

York resident Phillip Elliott-Dick, at the racecourse with daughter Erin, 4, said: "We're very excited. It's the first time in York so is an experience to relish."

Dave Rycroft, 36, of Borougbridge Road, at the course with his with son Jacob, 7, said: "I've followed cycling for 14 years and it's fantastic to have a stage of the Tour in York; it's just amazing. I've been looking forward to this for a long time."

Outside York Minster, Year 6 pupils from Buckhurst Hill Primary School in Essex were in York on a school trip. Teacher Angela Harris said they feared they would miss Stage Three, in the south-east today, but were able to enjoy the fun in York instead.

On Bishopthorpe Road, Carl and Jayne Wain were up early and had decked their house out in bunting and banners. Jayne said: "I've been watching the Tour since I was 12 and it's the most excited I've been in my life! The only disappointment is that we were up last night writing in chalk on the road, and then it rained and washed it off! We loved it yesterday. We could not believe the number of people."

Locals held a spectacular street party after the cyclists had passed. Johnny Hayes, chairman of Bishopthorpe Road Traders, said J'aime Bishy Rue was a true community event. "If you spend a lot of money on something it really must benefit the community and it has. It's an incredible day."

All the shops were open and the restaurants and cafes did a brisk trade.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust also joined in the fun and had a stall, thanks to Bishopthorpe Road trader Trinacria Sicilian restaurant. It actively encourages cyclists to ride to its nature reserves.

On the course, a late attack by Italy's Vincenzo Nibali earned him victory when the Stage concluded in Sheffield, after going through Knarebsorough, Blubberhouses, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Cragg ale, Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Holme Moss.

Nibali claimed the race leader's yellow jersey after coming out on top after a brutal and unpredictable day of racing over a testing 201-kilometre route.

The Astana rider, who won the 2013 Giro d'Italia, left his challenge late but timed it to perfection to clinch victory ahead of a host of leading contenders for the title.

Nibali took over the race leader's maillot jaune from stage one winner Marcel Kittel, of Giant-Shimano.

Local favourite Mark Cavendish missed yesterday's action after falling near the finishing line in Harrogate on Saturday

The 29-year-old Omega Pharma-QuickStep sprinter did not start the second stage due to the shoulder injury caused when he tumbled to the tarmac in a frantic finale in his mother’s home town.

The 25-times Tour stage winner suffered a separated AC joint after colliding with Australian Simon Gerrans, of Orica-GreenEdge, as Marcel Kittel won the stage and with it the yellow jersey.

"I'm absolutely devastated," Cavendish said at York Racecourse.

Police praised the crowds for their behaviour and there were no serious incidents reported. One spectator near Haworth suffered minor injuries when he stepped into the path of the cyclists while taking a photograph and was hit by a rider, who himself was unhurt.

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:49am Mon 7 Jul 14

yorkandproud says...

You couldn't have failed to enjoy the brilliant Tour de France as it passed through our wonderful city. Please ' please, please , no negative remarks. York was at its finest. A special mention must go to the businesses and residents of Bishy Road. You really know how to put on an event and enjoy yourselves. Fantastic"
You couldn't have failed to enjoy the brilliant Tour de France as it passed through our wonderful city. Please ' please, please , no negative remarks. York was at its finest. A special mention must go to the businesses and residents of Bishy Road. You really know how to put on an event and enjoy yourselves. Fantastic" yorkandproud
  • Score: 70

10:14am Mon 7 Jul 14

pedalling paul says...

I decided to pedal to a suburban site not far from the City Centre. As I arrived,and pedalled along looking for the next available barrier space, I was wildly cheered by those who had already arrived. Mind you, the mood they were in, they were cheering anything on wheels. ....................
....
These was a fantastic interaction with the many UK Police motorcyclists who passed by. They blipped their sirens and lights, waved and touched fingertips with the patiently waiting crowd. I spotted marked police vehicles from across Yorkshire & beyond.
I decided to pedal to a suburban site not far from the City Centre. As I arrived,and pedalled along looking for the next available barrier space, I was wildly cheered by those who had already arrived. Mind you, the mood they were in, they were cheering anything on wheels. .................... .... These was a fantastic interaction with the many UK Police motorcyclists who passed by. They blipped their sirens and lights, waved and touched fingertips with the patiently waiting crowd. I spotted marked police vehicles from across Yorkshire & beyond. pedalling paul
  • Score: 20

10:22am Mon 7 Jul 14

whitehorse says...

pedalling paul wrote:
I decided to pedal to a suburban site not far from the City Centre. As I arrived,and pedalled along looking for the next available barrier space, I was wildly cheered by those who had already arrived. Mind you, the mood they were in, they were cheering anything on wheels. ....................

....
These was a fantastic interaction with the many UK Police motorcyclists who passed by. They blipped their sirens and lights, waved and touched fingertips with the patiently waiting crowd. I spotted marked police vehicles from across Yorkshire & beyond.
Though I suspect in your case, the cheer was probably ironic.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: I decided to pedal to a suburban site not far from the City Centre. As I arrived,and pedalled along looking for the next available barrier space, I was wildly cheered by those who had already arrived. Mind you, the mood they were in, they were cheering anything on wheels. .................... .... These was a fantastic interaction with the many UK Police motorcyclists who passed by. They blipped their sirens and lights, waved and touched fingertips with the patiently waiting crowd. I spotted marked police vehicles from across Yorkshire & beyond.[/p][/quote]Though I suspect in your case, the cheer was probably ironic. whitehorse
  • Score: 0

11:50am Mon 7 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

It was great every thing about the race went as planned, a great once if a life time experience and to be remembed.

Also Thank You Yorks Council for staying away from any organisational support.
It was great every thing about the race went as planned, a great once if a life time experience and to be remembed. Also Thank You Yorks Council for staying away from any organisational support. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 20

2:34pm Mon 7 Jul 14

the commentator says...

absolute waste of time! Funny enough, the roadworks are back up on the A59 park and ride
absolute waste of time! Funny enough, the roadworks are back up on the A59 park and ride the commentator
  • Score: -40

4:49pm Mon 7 Jul 14

TCJYork says...

Very proud to be Yorkie yesterday.

Regardless of your opinions of the subject matter of an event; whether it be the Olympic torch, The Queen's visit, York City's victory parade or the Tour de France - I never fail to be impressed by the citizens of our wonderful home and the brilliant atmosphere and goodwill we create on the streets.

Very proud indeed.

ps Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire must surely be worthy of a top honour from The Queen by now?
Very proud to be Yorkie yesterday. Regardless of your opinions of the subject matter of an event; whether it be the Olympic torch, The Queen's visit, York City's victory parade or the Tour de France - I never fail to be impressed by the citizens of our wonderful home and the brilliant atmosphere and goodwill we create on the streets. Very proud indeed. ps Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire must surely be worthy of a top honour from The Queen by now? TCJYork
  • Score: 17

6:36pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

Historic indeed. A day never to be forgotten.
The atmosphere, the vibe, the amount of people. Everyone positive and happy and sociable.
Bikes whizzing past quickly or not, it was a day long party/ carnival/ festival. Can't fault that!

A highlight for years and years.

Well done York and well done Yorkshire!
Historic indeed. A day never to be forgotten. The atmosphere, the vibe, the amount of people. Everyone positive and happy and sociable. Bikes whizzing past quickly or not, it was a day long party/ carnival/ festival. Can't fault that! A highlight for years and years. Well done York and well done Yorkshire! Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: 13

7:22pm Mon 7 Jul 14

nearlyman says...

Yes it did seem all rather spectacular and above expectation. Well done to the people who organised the sporting side of things. but oh how city of york council must have wished they had got the good people of bishy road to organise their 'grand departy'. Brisk ticket sales we were told there had been after only 1000 sold up to the week before. In reality, and according to the press review they only sold 500 more. And that, after moving the proposed hub for spectators from monk stray up to monks cross , in a failed attempt to boost numbers and no doubt to be able to say to the monk stray residents 'we listened to your concerns and moved the hub' ,when in reality it was a failed attempt to put those people near to the site of the failed concert. They clearly did not take the bait and looked for better value for money. What on earth did all those second rate music acts have to do with cycling ?? One would imagine that COYC would have learned the lesson long ago, with their experiences at the Barbican, that local government officers are utterly hopeless at showbiz, and not apparently much better at their daytime brief.
Yes it did seem all rather spectacular and above expectation. Well done to the people who organised the sporting side of things. but oh how city of york council must have wished they had got the good people of bishy road to organise their 'grand departy'. Brisk ticket sales we were told there had been after only 1000 sold up to the week before. In reality, and according to the press review they only sold 500 more. And that, after moving the proposed hub for spectators from monk stray up to monks cross , in a failed attempt to boost numbers and no doubt to be able to say to the monk stray residents 'we listened to your concerns and moved the hub' ,when in reality it was a failed attempt to put those people near to the site of the failed concert. They clearly did not take the bait and looked for better value for money. What on earth did all those second rate music acts have to do with cycling ?? One would imagine that COYC would have learned the lesson long ago, with their experiences at the Barbican, that local government officers are utterly hopeless at showbiz, and not apparently much better at their daytime brief. nearlyman
  • Score: 1

8:28pm Mon 7 Jul 14

nickh69 says...

Well, I live in Chesterfield , however visit York frequently and must say you did yourselves proud. We had a great night on Saturday night , waking very early Sunday to catch the bus into York. We took place at the Minster and the people were excellent. The rain came for a while and i must mention the team at St Michael le Belfry , who for a small donation had tea , coffee , cakes and were dressed up in berets with lovely moustaches drawn on. What York demonstrated was the passion to all the visitors and the spirit was excellent as the TDF passed the Minster. All I can say is well done York , best city in England , your efforts were amazing , wish we could do it all over again.....
Well, I live in Chesterfield , however visit York frequently and must say you did yourselves proud. We had a great night on Saturday night , waking very early Sunday to catch the bus into York. We took place at the Minster and the people were excellent. The rain came for a while and i must mention the team at St Michael le Belfry , who for a small donation had tea , coffee , cakes and were dressed up in berets with lovely moustaches drawn on. What York demonstrated was the passion to all the visitors and the spirit was excellent as the TDF passed the Minster. All I can say is well done York , best city in England , your efforts were amazing , wish we could do it all over again..... nickh69
  • Score: 12

8:29pm Mon 7 Jul 14

JasBro says...

It was a brilliant couple of days, a fantastic event, a wonderful atmosphere, and Yorkshire looked beautiful. Well done to everybody.
It was a brilliant couple of days, a fantastic event, a wonderful atmosphere, and Yorkshire looked beautiful. Well done to everybody. JasBro
  • Score: 8

8:39pm Mon 7 Jul 14

JasBro says...

pedalling paul wrote:
I decided to pedal to a suburban site not far from the City Centre. As I arrived,and pedalled along looking for the next available barrier space, I was wildly cheered by those who had already arrived. Mind you, the mood they were in, they were cheering anything on wheels. ....................

....
These was a fantastic interaction with the many UK Police motorcyclists who passed by. They blipped their sirens and lights, waved and touched fingertips with the patiently waiting crowd. I spotted marked police vehicles from across Yorkshire & beyond.
Haha, yes, people were in the mood for cheering, anybody who came along got a cheer, unknown cyclists, team cars, police, anybody. Obviously the biggest cheer was reserved for the peloton, but everybody was in such a good mood, there was a real "feel good" factor. As you say, the police and ambulance crews really got into the spirit of things too.

Lot's of great memories.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: I decided to pedal to a suburban site not far from the City Centre. As I arrived,and pedalled along looking for the next available barrier space, I was wildly cheered by those who had already arrived. Mind you, the mood they were in, they were cheering anything on wheels. .................... .... These was a fantastic interaction with the many UK Police motorcyclists who passed by. They blipped their sirens and lights, waved and touched fingertips with the patiently waiting crowd. I spotted marked police vehicles from across Yorkshire & beyond.[/p][/quote]Haha, yes, people were in the mood for cheering, anybody who came along got a cheer, unknown cyclists, team cars, police, anybody. Obviously the biggest cheer was reserved for the peloton, but everybody was in such a good mood, there was a real "feel good" factor. As you say, the police and ambulance crews really got into the spirit of things too. Lot's of great memories. JasBro
  • Score: 7

11:33pm Mon 7 Jul 14

MouseHouse says...

Johnboy1946 - not sure of the colour, but you're wearing the Dunces Cap right now.
Johnboy1946 - not sure of the colour, but you're wearing the Dunces Cap right now. MouseHouse
  • Score: 4

11:16am Tue 8 Jul 14

AGuyFromStrensall says...

Was an awesome day out, great fun and a world class event. The family had a brilliant day.

Having said that the quote should still be right.
We should be furious that when this massive event gives us a glow for one day but costs us all in the pocket.

I'll get flamed for this, but everyone will forget the money spent on this big jolly when the financials are published.

The organisers are all loving talking about legacy, whereas when all is said an done, from this week onwards the only legacy is many millions of pounds spent with nothing to show but some fixed potholes (small mercies I guess...)
Was an awesome day out, great fun and a world class event. The family had a brilliant day. Having said that the quote should still be right. We should be furious that when this massive event gives us a glow for one day but costs us all in the pocket. I'll get flamed for this, but everyone will forget the money spent on this big jolly when the financials are published. The organisers are all loving talking about legacy, whereas when all is said an done, from this week onwards the only legacy is many millions of pounds spent with nothing to show but some fixed potholes (small mercies I guess...) AGuyFromStrensall
  • Score: -3

12:53pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Miles Davis says...

the commentator wrote:
absolute waste of time! Funny enough, the roadworks are back up on the A59 park and ride
Well perhaps you should have visited the Helmsley Steam Rally...there was lots of hot air there too!!
Don't listen to this moaning buffoon...great event and fantastic for York and Yorkshire. Well done everyone!!!
[quote][p][bold]the commentator[/bold] wrote: absolute waste of time! Funny enough, the roadworks are back up on the A59 park and ride[/p][/quote]Well perhaps you should have visited the Helmsley Steam Rally...there was lots of hot air there too!! Don't listen to this moaning buffoon...great event and fantastic for York and Yorkshire. Well done everyone!!! Miles Davis
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree