PICTURES: Stocksbridge steals the show as thousands line the streets to roar home Tour de Yorkshire riders

Serge Pauwels from Team Dimension Data won the stage on took 1st place overall. Tour de Yorkshire 2017 Stage 3 Bradford to Fox Valley-Sheffield, Sunday April 30th. Enjoying the atmosphere at the finish at Fox Valley. Picture: Chris Etchells
Serge Pauwels from Team Dimension Data won the stage on took 1st place overall. Tour de Yorkshire 2017 Stage 3 Bradford to Fox Valley-Sheffield, Sunday April 30th. Enjoying the atmosphere at the finish at Fox Valley. Picture: Chris Etchells
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The eyes of the world were fixed on South Yorkshire as thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on riders on the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.

The eyes of the world were fixed on South Yorkshire as thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on riders on the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.

From Stocksbridge to Deepcar, to Penistone, Wigtwizzle and Bolsterstone - cycling fans turned out for what is now one of the most exciting events on the racing calendar.

Riders from around the world took in the amazing South Yorkshire scenery as they swooped down into Fox Valley in Stocksbridge for the huge finish.

But the pros had to work for it as they took on some the region’s steepest inclines - including the muscle-burning Coté de Deepcar with riders trudging up Carr Road.

Despite the huge climbs, the riders weren’t short of passionate support from the pavements.

Young fans dress for the occasion in Stocksbridge. Picture: Chris Etchells

Young fans dress for the occasion in Stocksbridge. Picture: Chris Etchells

Some South Yorkshire residents transformed their front gardens into a sea of yellow and blue hanging metres of bunting and proudly flying the Yorkshire flag emblazoned with the white rose.

Neighbours came together and celebrated the cycling festivities with each other.

Among those cheering on the riders from their front garden was the Grayson family.

Waiting for the riders to fly past their home on Manchester Road in Deepcar, were cousins Ava aged six, Freya, three, Reggie, one, Sonny, one and Ria six, who were up early on Sunday morning help to create a huge banner.

The Grayson family and friends outside their home on Manchester Road in Deepcar. Picture: George Torr/The Star

The Grayson family and friends outside their home on Manchester Road in Deepcar. Picture: George Torr/The Star

Mum Aimee said: “It’s been brilliant all week. My eldest has been learning about the event and the Yorkshire rose - the schools have been really involved and it’s great to see so many people coming out.”

Grandmother Michelle Grayson, 55, added: “It’s an amazing event and just looking up Manchester Road with all the flags and bunting is great to see.”

Further down Manchester Road was 65-year-old Barbara Leather who was enjoing a party with the next door neighbours and soaking up the pre-race atmosphere.

She said: “I’ve been following the tour on TV all weekend and the place has been buzzing with excitement about it all week.

Neil King, Noel Wood, and Phil Haigh. Picture: Chris Etchells

Neil King, Noel Wood, and Phil Haigh. Picture: Chris Etchells

“I’ve lived here for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this - the community has really come together and it’s been fantastic to be involved.”

The Bradford to Stocksbridge leg saw a record one million people turn out to watch Serge Pauwels claim the stage and overall victory.

Stocksbridge & Upper Don Coun Jack Clarkson said those who turned out for the event did the area proud.

“It’s been brilliant for Stocksbridge and for the wider ward and I hope the visitors who’ve never been to this neck of the woods have really enjoyed themselves because we enjoyed their company,” he said.

“Everybody was really well behaved and we can only say we hope this isn’t the last of Stocksbridge holding events like this - we hope to have other cycling events such as a hill climb because we’re certainly not short of them around here!

“I’ve got to say the team at Fox Valley have done such a tremendous job working with Stocksbridge Town Council - they’ve put this place on the map and shown off the area to the world.

Finlay Siddall, 11, and Isacc Blake, seven. Picture: Chris Etchells

Finlay Siddall, 11, and Isacc Blake, seven. Picture: Chris Etchells

They deserve the recognition for all their efforts.”

Linda Aizlewood, 68, from Stocksbridge said: “It’s been really good for the town - seeing all the children with flags and banners turning out has been great.

“People have really turned out to support the race and it’s really put the area on the map.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “The last three days have been utterly unforgettable. I realise I keep saying it, but I could not be prouder of this great county we call home.

One million roadside fans on a single day is a truly phenomenal figure and there are barely any week-long races in the sport that can command 2.2 million spectators, let alone a three-day event like ours.”

The riders cross the line. Picture: Chris Etchells

The riders cross the line. Picture: Chris Etchells

Tour de Yorkshire 2017 Stage 3 Bradford to Fox Valley-Sheffield, Sunday April 30th. Enjoying the atmosphere at the finish at Fox Valley. The top 3 overall. Picture: Chris Etchells

Tour de Yorkshire 2017 Stage 3 Bradford to Fox Valley-Sheffield, Sunday April 30th. Enjoying the atmosphere at the finish at Fox Valley. The top 3 overall. Picture: Chris Etchells

Thomas Brown, 11, at the finish in Fox Valley. Picture: Chris Etchells

Thomas Brown, 11, at the finish in Fox Valley. Picture: Chris Etchells

Crowds line the streets in Stocksbridge. Picture: Chris Etchells

Crowds line the streets in Stocksbridge. Picture: Chris Etchells

Joseph White, seven, and Logan Wilson, seven. Picture: Chris Etchells

Joseph White, seven, and Logan Wilson, seven. Picture: Chris Etchells