Welcome – sorry about Jenkin Road

Riders on Jenkin Road
Riders on Jenkin Road
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Welcome to Sheffield – sorry about the hills.

Just one of the greetings sprayed on the tarmac for the Tour de France cyclists.

And there was no better place to watch the action than the steepest hill on Stage 2 – Jenkin Road in Wincobank.

Cycling enthusiasts, residents, families and visitors from all over the UK lined the pavements to soak up the carnival atmosphere.

Before the peloton arrived amateur cyclists of all shapes and sizes took it in turns to try their hand at the steep gradient – with the crowds urging them on up the hill.

There were cheers for those who succeeded and groans for those who succumbed – everyone was in the highest spirits.

Keen cyclist Fred Denton, aged 57, and his wife Elizabeth, 54, travelled from Glasgow.

Fred, who plans to cycle Stage 18 in the Pyrenees said: “It’s a fantastic atmosphere here. 
“It really is superb. We’ve got a great view and everyone is really getting into the spirit of it.”

Helen Taylor, 39, from Northampton, watched with her dad Brian.

She said: “It’s amazing. Sheffield has really embraced the Tour.”

Ralph Boreham, 75, and pal Muir Mennell, 70, brought along their Penny Farthings.

The Rotherham pair, members of the Bygone Bikes Cycling Club and Veteran-Cycle Club, said they often attended cycling events to talk about the history of the sport.

Paul Ruijsenaars was with a delegation of staff from Utrecht, Holland, who are staging the Grand Depart next year.

He said: “We have come to Sheffield to see how you do it and it’s been amazing.

“It’s not just cycle fans, it’s everybody, from grandmas to grandchildren.”

At the Wincobank Common hub hundreds lay in the sunshine watching the race on the big screen.

There were fairground rides, a beer tent, refreshment stalls and activities for children.

A 32-year-old man was taken to hospital with back injuries after a fight broke out at 3.15pm.