Last weekend we were fortunate to watch two of the stage starts of the Tour de Yorkshire in both Tadcaster and Bradford. It was a great weekend for us and a great weekend for the county of Yorkshire. There was a fantastic race, some incredible crowds and we had a fabulous time watching the Tour de Yorkshire 2017!
The race began on Friday with Stage 1 going from Bridlington to Scarborough. After staying up late the night before to watch the NFL Draft, we watched the race on TV and saw the sprint finish which was won by Dylan Groenewegen of Team Lotto nl Jumbo.
On Saturday morning, we headed to Tadcaster to watch the start of stage 2. We were fortunate to have VIP tickets so went to a separate area where we had some food and drink. We also were really close to where the riders came to sign on. This meant we could see them being interviewed, take some photos and check out their bikes.
Once all the riders who were starting that day had signed on it was time to go to the start. We were behind the start line so had a great view of the riders before they set off. There was a fantastic atmosphere all around Tadcaster. One of the reasons the race was starting in the town was due to the newly reopened bridge which had been destroyed in the floods a few years ago, splitting the town in half. This is one of the things we love about sport – Its ability to bring communities together.
The race set off and headed to Harrogate, where we watched the Tour de France finish a few years ago. It was won in a tight sprint by Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis, with second placed Caleb Ewan getting the leaders jersey.
We had VIP tickets again on Sunday for the start of the race in our home city of Bradford. We were really excited about Bradford getting a start. When we arrived there was already a great atmosphere. We were interviewed by The Pulse and Heart radio stations about the impact of cycling and the Tour de Yorkshire in Bradford.
The race was starting at City Park and we arrived to be welcomed to a tasty breakfast in the VIP section. It was fantastic to see people wearing our Vive Le Yorkshire t-shirts too!
— (((K England))) (@kersten_england) April 30, 2017
The format was very similar to the start in Tadcaster where we watched the riders sign on and be interviewed. We watched some up close and some from the roof of the VIP building. We stayed on the roof to watch the start. The ribbon was cut by our friend Ken Russell, who won the Tour of Britain in 1952 (pictured above with Bradford Council CEO Kersten England who’s wearing our Vive Le Yorkshire t-shirt).
Then the riders were off! We got a great view of them riding through City Park and onto the Bradford roads. We watched the next hour on the big screen as the race went through some familiar roads to us, including Saltaire, Baildon, Ilkley and Haworth.
Eventually, it began to feel a bit too chilly so we headed home to watch the end of the race on the telly. Stage 3 was known as the Yorkshire Terrier because of its hills. This bike from the Bike Channel Canyon team shows how challenging the stage was.
We had a fantastic couple of days watching the Tour de Yorkshire. We felt especially proud when the tour began in Bradford and it was awesome to see people in our t-shirts around the race! If you haven’t got yours yet you can still get your Vive Le Yorkshire t-shirt here.