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Communities cheer on Le Tour in style

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Community spirit shone in northern Sheffield as thousands of people lined the Stage 2 route through the city.

Generations of all ages came together in the sunshine to celebrate the historic moment the Tour de France flew past their doorsteps.

In the Hillsborough area, many residents had decorated their homes and held parties in their gardens, while pubs reported a roaring trade from thirsty cycling fans.

While the crowds were not as big as on some areas of the route, many locals set up camp around Hillsborough to cheer on the cyclists.

There was a particularly big crowd on Herries Road, with the long, straight street offering spectators a good chance to watch the riders speeding through.

Steve Mundey, from Wadsley Bridge, was on the corner of Penistone Road North and Herries Road in Hillsborough, with wife Debbie and neighbour Wayne Stride.

He said it was good to see Sheffield promoted in its best light, following a recent BBC2 documentary about policing which focused on some of the difficulties facing the city.

“It has been a wonderful experience,” said Steve.

“This has shown the true community spirit.

“This area has got some bad press recently.

“It is absolutely fantastic to see so many people out here and the organisation has been excellent.”

Concerns had been raised in the build up to the race about the disruption caused by road closures, particularly in Fox Hill.

But people on the streets and outside their homes were unanimous about their support for the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ visit of the Tour de France to Sheffield.

Brother and sister Peter Atkin, aged 60, and Jean Williamson, 66, made a special trip to Penistone Road North to watch the race from outside the house where they grew up as children.

Jean, who now lives in Worksop, said she was delighted when they arrived to find the current owners of the house had trimmed it up specially for the Tour, with a yellow bike hung on the front of the property.

She said: “We could have gone anywhere but we wanted to watch it outside our old house.

“The decorations have absolutely made it for me.”

Glenn Chappell, aged 43, and his daughter Georgia set up a sweet shop outside their house on Penistone Road North, selling crisps and drinks to race watchers.

Glenn said they had been looking forward to the event since the announcement the race was coming to Sheffield.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I’m glad we have got to see it,” he said.

He said he was not concerned by the road closures and said the event should be welcomed to the area.

“I haven’t got a problem with it.

“It is like people moaning about potholes, then complaining about roadworks – how can you win?”

Greg and Kate Noble, from Crosspool, were at the event with their seven-year-old son Zach.

Greg said: “It is very exciting – we have had some outstanding sports experiences recently with the Olympics and the flame coming through.

“It is really special for Zach. 
“It is quite surreal to see the Tour de France in Sheffield.

Sally Rhodes, from Dronfield Woodhouse, came to watch the race with friends Meg and David Crook.

The group got into position about six hours before the riders came past.

She said it had been a thrill to see the event taking place.

“It was definitely worth the wait. We had the good old Yorkshire sunshine as well,” she said.

Gemma Barber, manager of the New Bridge Inn on Penistone Road North, said the pub had enjoyed a major sales boost as cycling fans packed into the bar after Le Tour went past.

“It has been absolutely brilliant, we have been really busy and everybody is in high spirits,” she said.

The nearby Railway pub held a special Tour de France party and decorated the building with bunting.

Landlady Jean McDermott said: “It is a once in a lifetime thing passing by our front door and you can’t not do anything.”

 

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