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VIDEO: Le Tour riders’ view of Yorkshire crowds

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  • by Chris Holt
 

Watch this amazing video showing what Yorkshire’s cheering crowds looked like from the eyes of the Tour de France riders - filmed on the back of the leading motorbike.

The Star’s Chris Holt was given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to ride pillion in front of Le Tour’s peloton - here’s his video and written report.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch.

When the crowds are showing such outrageous enthusiasm that they are cheering and waving to a clearly unfit, bearded and bespectacled bloke, struggling on the back of a motorcycle, then you just know the atmosphere for this latest leg of Le Tour is going to be special, writes Chris Holt.

At late notice, I was invited to experience Stage Two of one of the world’s biggest sporting events from an entirely different perspective - zooming from York to Sheffield on two wheels, but with an expert and a very powerful engine to take us up hill and down dale.

Having watched the first stage from the comfort of my armchair at home, I was gripped by the beauty of the countryside as this globally syndicated advert for Yorkshire’s greatness provided the perfect accompaniment to the sporting endeavour taking place beneath it.

However, as the saying goes, nothing beats being there.

While the picture postcard scenery came across sublimely on telly, the box couldn’t adequately convey the atmosphere as Yorkshire folk came out in their droves to cheer on these sporting heroes.

And if Leeds to Harrogate was anything like York to Sheffield yesterday, then there were very few people sitting in this weekend. Hundreds of thousands of people crammed the roads, in and out of picturesque towns and villages, many of them normally overlooked or skirted past on the way to somewhere else.

Then, as we raced into South Yorkshire, my French-speaking travelling companion hollered “c’est magique”.

My linguistic skills are poor but I knew what that meant. High Bradfield was awash with colour, mostly yellow and it was on the way to that point where I looked around at the rest of the convoy and saw the reaction on their collective faces.

These were men and women who have seen it all on various Tours. They’ve been all over Europe, but you could tell they felt this was different...it was special.

The phenomenal numbers made a phenomenal racket, clanging on cowbells and blowing on horns, the cyclists couldn’t have helped but be driven on. And that they were, to Oughtibridge and Grenoside and Penistone Road and Shirecliffe and the now famous Jenkin Road and on and on. South Yorkshire, you should be proud.

As a footnote, I believe I may have been the first British rider to cross the finishing line. I’m claiming it as a victory.

 

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