City so taken with Tour

John Errington with the Tour de France bike from the 1930's
John Errington with the Tour de France bike from the 1930's
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Sheffield went down with a severe case of yellow fever as excitement over the world’s biggest bike race spread throughout the city centre.

Hundreds gathered in the Peace Gardens to watch the Tour de France live on a big screen with live entertainment following on a nearby stage.

Fargate’s regular continental market was busier than ever while on The Moor there was a full day of live action under the banner Blood Sweat and Gears.

The weekend programme also saw visitors from near and far enjoying mass morris dancing, belly dancing, motorbike display teams, poetry jams, a musical sculpture made of bicycle bells and a bike cavalcade.

Helen Stockton and her partner Chris Rickard had come to Sheffield for the very first time from their home in Newcastle – having caught the Tour finale last year on the streets of Paris.

“We’re into cycling and we thought we’d come to Sheffield as we thought it would be a but too manic up in the Dales,” said Helen, aged 34.

“We thought we’d check out the Jenkin Road section as it’s the steepest climb and we thought we’d see the big names going quite slowly.

“But it’s lovely in the city centre, there’s a lot going on and it’s good to see so many families out.”

Chris, 41, added: “I’ve never been here before but from what I’ve seen the city has done the Tour proud – although there’s no comparison with Paris!

“It really is a chance in a lifetime to see the race so close to home.”

Tom Gamble, 37, from Greystones, said he’d taken an interest in cycling as a result of the Olympics.

“It feels great here and it’s brilliant for Yorkshire. I think the city’s done a good job,” he said.

Nigel and Helen Atkin had travelled to the city centre from Tickhill, Doncaster, with Nigel keen to see race action for himself.

“I’m going for the spectacle of it really – and the entente cordiale,” said the 52-year-old.

“But it’s lovely in the city here today, just wonderful.”