Tour de Yorkshire brings out 'the community spirit in our town'

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A TOWN showed off its community spirit as it welcomed the riders of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Pontefract to watch the second day of racing pass through this afternoon.

Cathy, Bob and Alby enjoy the day.

Cathy, Bob and Alby enjoy the day.

And the town was decorated with blue and yellow bunting, and many shops and businesses had organised window displays to mark the event.

Neil and Jan Slade were among the first to arrive on Southgate to see this afternoon’s race.

Jan said: “This is our first time at the Tour, we’ve only moved up to Pontefract in about July.

“I was really excited, I’d never seen a road race before, .

Neil and Jan Slade get ready to watch the riders.

Neil and Jan Slade get ready to watch the riders.

“I’m so impressed with how all the shops have got involved to support it, especially when you think it’s only going to last for a few minutes.”

Many local schools also finished early so that pupils were able to see the riders.

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Cathy and Bob Giles brought their grandson Alby to the race after picking him up from school.

Cathy said: “It’s just being part of the community, people put so much work into the decorations over weeks and we have got to come down and support those efforts – and cheer the riders on as well.

The peloton heads through Castleford.

The peloton heads through Castleford.

“It’s all voluntary funds as well, everybody just gives their own time and money.”

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Bob said he was proud to see the town support the race.

He said: “It just shows people want to be involved, whether it’s a 10k or a half marathon or the Tour de Yorkshire, they just want to be part of it.

“It’s great for the kids to see.”

The crowds also turned out for the women’s race this morning, despite heavy rain.

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Wendy Gillings, director of Executive Flooring, on Southgate, said: "It's an exciting day for us. We saw the ladies this morning, unfortunately it rained, but the street was full anyway.

"It was good to see everyone out and taking part."

After leaving Pontefract the riders headed towards Castleford, Allerton Bywater and Kippax,

Stage Two of the Tour de Yorkshire sees cyclists take on a 132km route from Barnsley to Bedale.

For more information on the Tour, visit letour.yorkshire.com