The countdown is over – and today the eyes of the world will be on Sheffield as it gears up for the long-awaited Tour de France.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors will start to arrive in the city and organisers believe up to one million people could watch the cycling spectacular in South Yorkshire tomorrow. An increased police presence has begun in spectator hotspots like Bradfield and Wincobank – which between them are expected to be flooded with ‘rammed’ crowds of 130,000.
Campsites and hotels are full, and some roads will be closed from tonight in a wave of significant disruption that also affects much public transport.
But communities have been getting into the spirit of the Grand Depart, with even The University of Sheffield’s iconic Arts Tower turning the colour of the winning Tour jersey for the weekend.
It is hoped the historic cycle race, which passes through 24 miles of Sheffield’s rural, residential and industrial heartlands, could help to put the city on the international map.