Tour de France: Crowds will gather at Don Valley Grass Bowl

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Up to 40,000 people are expected to cram into Don Valley Bowl this summer, to watch all the action of the Tour De France on several big screens.

The Sheffield venue, in Attercliffe, is the biggest of 17 free-admission ‘spectator hubs’ that have been announced, offering live coverage, refreshments and entertainment across the region throughout the two stage Grand Depart in Yorkshire.

Sir Rodney Walker, chair of TdF HUB 2014 Ltd, said: “People can now start planning where they want to spend their day and take advantage of the facilities on offer which include big screens, food and entertainment.

“Whether you want to cheer on your favourite riders or spend the day with your family, there’s something for everyone. I have no doubt they will contribute to the success of this event.”

The venues vary in capacity, from just a few thousand in more rural areas, to the staggering crowds expected in cities like Sheffield.

The spectator hub locations are in addition to the race start points and will also be supported by other spectator events hosted by local authorities, town and parish councils, community groups and privately-organised events.

The race begins in Leeds on July 5 and continues from York to Sheffield on July 6.

A third stage between Cambridge and London takes place on July 7 and details of spectators hubs for the capital will be announced later this week.

Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “There are going to be some great viewing points along the route to watch this spectacular event and the spectator hubs will provide a great family atmosphere for people to watch in safety and enjoy a great day’s entertainment.”

Here in the city, celebrations for the Tour De France will get underway this weekend with the installation of a special ‘count down’ clock in the Winter Garden.

The unveiling on Saturday will kick off a host of Tour De France-themed events in Sheffield this weekend.

They include a bicycle-powered printing press outside the Town Hall, where people can provide the power to make a Tour de France Sheffield commemorative poster to keep.

On Sunday, Barkers Pool will host a bicycle-decorating workshop from 12-4pm, and a cycle repair workshop.