"The best start to the Tour ever"

Craven Herald: The Peleton heads up Skipton High Street (7955798) The Peleton heads up Skipton High Street (7955798)

A RECORD 35,000 cheering people packed Skipton streets for the 'best ever' Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

Many thousands more flocked to Craven to witness the first two days of the world's largest sporting event and to put the area firmly on the international map.

“The atmosphere in Skipton over the whole weekend was electric," said Skipton Mayor, Cllr John Dawson.

"It was amazing to see so many people lining the streets, all of them really enjoying themselves and getting into the spirit of the event. Saturday was a day I will never forget.”

Paul Shevlin, chief executive of Craven District Council, said it had been an 'incredible rollercoaster ride' and he felt privileged to have been involved.

"The weekend was a celebration beyond our wildest dreams. I can't be more proud of Craven or more grateful to everybody who has been involved," he said.

"The welcome the tour received in the district was truly heart warming and I will forever treasure the memory of one sunny weekend in July."

Cllr Simon Myers, Craven's lead member for the Tour, said the authority had journeyed into 'unmapped territory'.

"We had faith in our mission, but were still taken by surprise by the tremendous out pour of passion, emotion and support."

And council leader, Cllr Chris Knowles-Fitton said Craven had put itself on the world map.

"The secret is out, Craven is the best place to live with the best people. Let's reap the benefits."

Cllr Chris Harbron, leader of the town council, praised Skipton for getting behind the event.

"The town looked great, the television coverage was phenomenal and the best possible advert. You really can’t buy that kind of publicity. There were visitors from all over the world and now they’ve seen what Skipton can offer, I’m sure that they will be back – and so will many others who saw the coverage.”

And Dave Parker, chief officer of the town council, said a lot of serious planning had gone into making it what it was.

"All of the partner organisations involved in the planning of the event worked seamlessly together to ensure that everything went well and Skipton was shown in the best possible light to the worldwide audience and for the thousands who chose to watch the event in and around our town.

"My staff worked incredibly long hours, as did our colleagues across the board – but all of that hard work is worth it when you see the end result.”

But there were some logistical problems, particularly with filling car parks along the Tour route.

Buckden's John Davis, who opened his field to provide 400 spaces of car parking, rang the Herald on Saturday morning saying only three cars had parked there by 8.30am.

A spokesman from North Yorkshire County Council said due to an error the B6160 was closed at 5.20am rather than 6am. It was re-opened ten minutes later a half hour before the road was required to be shut.

In Skipton, Andrew Mear, owner of High Corn Mill, was left frustrated after opening a car park with space for 30 cars, but only two vehicles had parked in it before Chapel Hill was closed at 5am.

Graham Jagger, director of Pennine Events, which organised crowd management for the Tour's route through the area, said: "The roads in Skipton were closed at 6am and not a minute before. We always realised car parks operated on the race route were going to be disappointed."

But Mr Mear, the new chairman of Skipton BID, stressed that events such as the Tour are good for Skipton.

"This is what Skipton needs," he said. "I'd imagine some businesses on the High Street made piles of cash.

"The key thing is that Skipton had a fantastic day and the sun shined on the Tour."

Comments (4)

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12:39pm Thu 10 Jul 14

toxOphilus says...

It pains me to have to say this as a die-hard Lancastrian but you sheep-botherers have done a fantastic job. Aside from all the keyboard warriors and my boss who's a berk and a cyclist-hater anyway I don't know anyone who's had a bad word to say about it or who hasn't enjoyed it. Well done, woolly-backs!!
It pains me to have to say this as a die-hard Lancastrian but you sheep-botherers have done a fantastic job. Aside from all the keyboard warriors and my boss who's a berk and a cyclist-hater anyway I don't know anyone who's had a bad word to say about it or who hasn't enjoyed it. Well done, woolly-backs!! toxOphilus
  • Score: 4

6:02pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Mart56 says...

toxOphilus wrote:
It pains me to have to say this as a die-hard Lancastrian but you sheep-botherers have done a fantastic job. Aside from all the keyboard warriors and my boss who's a berk and a cyclist-hater anyway I don't know anyone who's had a bad word to say about it or who hasn't enjoyed it. Well done, woolly-backs!!
Thank you. To get such praise from the "other side" shows what was achieved. Just as important we proved to the government, who didn't want Le Grand Depart coming to Yorkshire, what we are capable of, even without their support. I hope the red rose county gets a chance to do something similar in the near future.
[quote][p][bold]toxOphilus[/bold] wrote: It pains me to have to say this as a die-hard Lancastrian but you sheep-botherers have done a fantastic job. Aside from all the keyboard warriors and my boss who's a berk and a cyclist-hater anyway I don't know anyone who's had a bad word to say about it or who hasn't enjoyed it. Well done, woolly-backs!![/p][/quote]Thank you. To get such praise from the "other side" shows what was achieved. Just as important we proved to the government, who didn't want Le Grand Depart coming to Yorkshire, what we are capable of, even without their support. I hope the red rose county gets a chance to do something similar in the near future. Mart56
  • Score: 0

1:03am Wed 16 Jul 14

John Civis says...

I watched my first Tour de France in 1953 and my last one in 2013, watching more than forty editions in between..and, thankfully all of them in France.

The TOur is french and should remain in France. What the Yorkshire organisers did was to transform a world class cycle race into a carnival of beer tents, hamburgers stalls and third rate pop music festivals. The spectators showed little sense of the real occasion, managing to make the already narrow roads almost impassable for the peloton.

If Yorkshire really sissuch a wonderful county, and a worthy place to hold a world-class cycle race, you must ask yourselves why we Yorkshire entrepreneurs have to rely on a French company to deliver such an event. Perhaps the folks at Welcome to Yorkshire should have pulled their fingers out some years ago and developed a race by their own efforts.

it appears to have escaped the notice of many spectators and certainly the ego-tripping top brass, that a substantial number of the riders lodged complaints with the organisers ASO, that the roads were to narrow and totally unsuitable for a race of the magnitude of the Tour...and that's before they complained about the stone walls hemming the riders in.

It wasn't until the peloton actually left the dales and headed for Ripon that the riders felt that they had enough room to actually race.
I watched my first Tour de France in 1953 and my last one in 2013, watching more than forty editions in between..and, thankfully all of them in France. The TOur is french and should remain in France. What the Yorkshire organisers did was to transform a world class cycle race into a carnival of beer tents, hamburgers stalls and third rate pop music festivals. The spectators showed little sense of the real occasion, managing to make the already narrow roads almost impassable for the peloton. If Yorkshire really sissuch a wonderful county, and a worthy place to hold a world-class cycle race, you must ask yourselves why we Yorkshire entrepreneurs have to rely on a French company to deliver such an event. Perhaps the folks at Welcome to Yorkshire should have pulled their fingers out some years ago and developed a race by their own efforts. it appears to have escaped the notice of many spectators and certainly the ego-tripping top brass, that a substantial number of the riders lodged complaints with the organisers ASO, that the roads were to narrow and totally unsuitable for a race of the magnitude of the Tour...and that's before they complained about the stone walls hemming the riders in. It wasn't until the peloton actually left the dales and headed for Ripon that the riders felt that they had enough room to actually race. John Civis
  • Score: 1

12:42pm Wed 16 Jul 14

toxOphilus says...

John Civis wrote:
I watched my first Tour de France in 1953 and my last one in 2013, watching more than forty editions in between..and, thankfully all of them in France.

The TOur is french and should remain in France. What the Yorkshire organisers did was to transform a world class cycle race into a carnival of beer tents, hamburgers stalls and third rate pop music festivals. The spectators showed little sense of the real occasion, managing to make the already narrow roads almost impassable for the peloton.

If Yorkshire really sissuch a wonderful county, and a worthy place to hold a world-class cycle race, you must ask yourselves why we Yorkshire entrepreneurs have to rely on a French company to deliver such an event. Perhaps the folks at Welcome to Yorkshire should have pulled their fingers out some years ago and developed a race by their own efforts.

it appears to have escaped the notice of many spectators and certainly the ego-tripping top brass, that a substantial number of the riders lodged complaints with the organisers ASO, that the roads were to narrow and totally unsuitable for a race of the magnitude of the Tour...and that's before they complained about the stone walls hemming the riders in.

It wasn't until the peloton actually left the dales and headed for Ripon that the riders felt that they had enough room to actually race.
What a load of meally-mouthed nonsense. The Tour is French, yes - but only it's origins. It has been a truly international event of enormous proportions for many years, and long may it remain so. It has started outside France regularly since 1954, which just goes to confirm it's truly apolitical ethos.

And as for spectators having no sense of the occasion, did you actually visit any of the places along the route, perhaps Skipton or Hebden Bridge or Sheffield? Did you see the crowds who turned out up Buttertubs or Holme Moss, screaming and shouting themselves hoarse as they encouraged the riders to their best efforts? No, I don't suspect that you did, preferring to hide behind your keyboard spewing bile and invective.

Are you seriously expecting us to believe that the scenes that we witnessed either in person or on television are any worse than those we see on the Alpe d'Huez, Mont Ventoux or the Col de Perisourd? Do the spectators there stand back politely applauding as the riders pass by, or do they narrow the roads down to barely one bike's width, running alongside the riders, slapping them on the back yelling encouragement no matter where they are from or who they support?

You, sir, speak nonsense of the most ridiculous kind. I suspect that you are a curmudgeonly flat-capped kill-joy representative of the old-school of cycling clubs, peering through your rose-tinted spectacles and the steamed-up windows of your nearest CTC cafe whilst pretending to enjoy a 100 mile round trip in the pouring rain on your 3-speed tick-box. If the Tour is so much better in France, perhaps you should tootle off over there and keep your trap shut, so that those of us who truly appreciate the spectacle of having a world-class sporting event on our doorsteps (even if it was on the wrong side of the Pennines for the most part) can revel in the carnival atmosphere of a once-in-a-lifetime experience without having to listen to your twitter.
[quote][p][bold]John Civis[/bold] wrote: I watched my first Tour de France in 1953 and my last one in 2013, watching more than forty editions in between..and, thankfully all of them in France. The TOur is french and should remain in France. What the Yorkshire organisers did was to transform a world class cycle race into a carnival of beer tents, hamburgers stalls and third rate pop music festivals. The spectators showed little sense of the real occasion, managing to make the already narrow roads almost impassable for the peloton. If Yorkshire really sissuch a wonderful county, and a worthy place to hold a world-class cycle race, you must ask yourselves why we Yorkshire entrepreneurs have to rely on a French company to deliver such an event. Perhaps the folks at Welcome to Yorkshire should have pulled their fingers out some years ago and developed a race by their own efforts. it appears to have escaped the notice of many spectators and certainly the ego-tripping top brass, that a substantial number of the riders lodged complaints with the organisers ASO, that the roads were to narrow and totally unsuitable for a race of the magnitude of the Tour...and that's before they complained about the stone walls hemming the riders in. It wasn't until the peloton actually left the dales and headed for Ripon that the riders felt that they had enough room to actually race.[/p][/quote]What a load of meally-mouthed nonsense. The Tour is French, yes - but only it's origins. It has been a truly international event of enormous proportions for many years, and long may it remain so. It has started outside France regularly since 1954, which just goes to confirm it's truly apolitical ethos. And as for spectators having no sense of the occasion, did you actually visit any of the places along the route, perhaps Skipton or Hebden Bridge or Sheffield? Did you see the crowds who turned out up Buttertubs or Holme Moss, screaming and shouting themselves hoarse as they encouraged the riders to their best efforts? No, I don't suspect that you did, preferring to hide behind your keyboard spewing bile and invective. Are you seriously expecting us to believe that the scenes that we witnessed either in person or on television are any worse than those we see on the Alpe d'Huez, Mont Ventoux or the Col de Perisourd? Do the spectators there stand back politely applauding as the riders pass by, or do they narrow the roads down to barely one bike's width, running alongside the riders, slapping them on the back yelling encouragement no matter where they are from or who they support? You, sir, speak nonsense of the most ridiculous kind. I suspect that you are a curmudgeonly flat-capped kill-joy representative of the old-school of cycling clubs, peering through your rose-tinted spectacles and the steamed-up windows of your nearest CTC cafe whilst pretending to enjoy a 100 mile round trip in the pouring rain on your 3-speed tick-box. If the Tour is so much better in France, perhaps you should tootle off over there and keep your trap shut, so that those of us who truly appreciate the spectacle of having a world-class sporting event on our doorsteps (even if it was on the wrong side of the Pennines for the most part) can revel in the carnival atmosphere of a once-in-a-lifetime experience without having to listen to your twitter. toxOphilus
  • Score: 0

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