Here's how Harrogate welcomed TdY men's race

Pride of Yorkshire - Cycling fans at Parliament Street in Harrogate today.
Pride of Yorkshire - Cycling fans at Parliament Street in Harrogate today.

The whirring of the TV helicopter in the Harrogate skies just before 5pm today signalled the arrival of the peleton in the men's race in this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Preceded by the vehicles of the TdY's caravan - plus regular phalanxes of motorbikes - the crowd of cycling fans, curious residents and some protesters, had gathered hoping to see local hero Mark Cavendish win on the exact same spot he had so spectacularly come to physical grief in the Tour de France five years earlier in 2014.

Anti-fracking protesters on West Park in Harrogate today at the Tour de Yorkshire.

Anti-fracking protesters on West Park in Harrogate today at the Tour de Yorkshire.

Luckily, he led the peloton through Harrogate which is where his mother lives.

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If the crowds on West Park and Parliament Street were down on that year's scenes today, Friday, or some previous TdYs, that was no surprise in the winter-like cold on a bank holiday when much of Harrogate was already away enjoying the long weekend.

Most of the bars and cafes and restaurants lining the route on Parliament Street were full of people enjoying a drink while waiting to see some of the world's greatest riders in action in action on stage two of the TdY which was due to finish in Bedale.

The pavement near Bettys tearooms and The Ivy was full of EU flags from pro-Remainers while, a little further down, was a gathering of Harrogate and Knaresborough anti-frackers with banners and placards making their point about chemicals company Ineos which recently took over Team Sky.

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