Cries of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ from 20-deep crowds greeted the world’’s top cyclists as they entered Sheffield.
So many people had gathered in the normally peaceful village of High Bradfield, choking the rural route, that police had to warn them to stand back or the race could stop.
Organisers estimated more than 30,000 race-goers – some who had been camping by the side of the road from 7.30am, others painted with polka dots and wearing berets ‑ were in place by lunchtime, several hours before the race arrived.
Mexican waves and cheering built to a crescendo before the first riders emerged over the hill – while later some fans in just their underwear chased the stragglers.
Di Lee, of Crookes, said: “It was fantastic for Yorkshire – it’s given the whole world a picture of our county.”
The 65-year-old said: “I’m not a cycling fan, but when its something like this you have to be there. I can’t believe how fast it went. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Cycling superfan Andrew Ulyett, of Chesterfield, said: “I have watched it on television for 25 years, it definitely lived up to my expectations.
“The wait was worth it – and I was there since 7.30am.
“It’s the best thing to happen here for a long time.”
Cathy Degney and Bob Sievewri, of Rotherham, watched Stage One in Leeds on Saturday – and said their Sheffield experience was even more ‘intense’.
Cathy said: “This is on a different scale to anything I have seen.”
Catherine Harvey, of Meersbrook, said: “As an advert for Yorkshire it couldn’t have been any better.”
And Bradfield’s moment in the spotlight was a major boost for businesses.
Some stalls at the Steel Stage spectator hub sold out within hours, while the Old Schoolrooms café in Low Bradfield said it sold 1,500 burgers and three whole pigs in a hog roast.