Tour de Yorkshire: Otley is gearing up to cheer on cycle champion Lizzie

Otley gets spruced up ready for the start of Stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday.  Picture Tony Johnson

Otley gets spruced up ready for the start of Stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday. Picture Tony Johnson

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The flags are flying high as Otley prepares to cheer on its very own cycling champion this weekend.

Former Prince Henry’s Grammar School pupil Lizzie Armitstead made international headlines last year by winning the women’s UCI World Road Championships in the Virginia capital of Richmond.

World Champion Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead.

World Champion Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead.

In doing so, the 26-year-old became only the fourth British woman in history to take the title – following in the cycle tracks of Morley’s Beryl Burton.

And fans are hoping the champion will cross the finish line first in the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire which starts from Lizzie’s home town tomorrow for stage two of the race.

And to show their support the town has taken its cheering efforts viral with a YouTube video featuring Lizzie’s grandparents Majorie and Ray Dunn.

The three-minute clip, which was produced in connection with All About the Story Ltd, has already been viewed thousands of times.

It features well-known faces from across the town all cheering on Lizzie and wishing her luck for the race.

Dr Jason Knowles, community development deputy executive officer for Otley Town Council, said: “Otley is delighted to welcome the Tour de Yorkshire.

“Such a showpiece event provides a great opportunity to put Otley on the map and we know visitors will benefit from a fantastic experience on the day.

“This will be a memorable occasion for all and will be particularly special given that the town is home to Lizzie Armitstead.

He added: “We hope that such high profile events, added to all the other events and attractions the town has to offer will attract more visitors to Otley in the future”.

The women’s race will start on Boroughgate at 8.15am tomorrow and West Yorkshire Police warned earlier this week there will be a series of rolling road closures throughout the event.

The day of cycling will see both men and women take on a 135km route from Otley through Bardsey, east Leeds, Pontefract, South Elmsall, Conisbrough and Bawtry to the Doncaster finish line.

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