Thousands of spectators flooded Sheffield city centre as the Claremont Sheffield Grand Prix 2013 got underway in the city.
The professional cycling event, which marks the final round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series, brought a taste of world-class cycling yesterday evening, ahead of next year’s Tour de France route which will feature Yorkshire.
Spectator Shaun Doane, 54, of Heeley, said: “I’m such a big fan of cycling and got camped out nice and early for a good view of the route.
“Cycling is such a big sport in this country and, with Tour De France next year, the focus is going to be on Yorkshire. I think it’s great so many people have turned out here to support the event.”
Ken Jones, whose company Onimpex were one of the races many sponsors, told The Star: “I looked on Twitter this morning and thought it was fabulous to see that the race was trending!
“It takes a lot of work to pull together an event like this, with money and road closures, so I think the people of Sheffield’s support, and they way they’ve turn out, is spot-on.”
Organiser Mark Barry, director of Sports Cover Cycling Team, added: “Sheffield is one of the sporting capitals of the country, it punches well above its weight, rivalling cities twice its size with events like this and I can’t think of a better venue for us to be in today.
“Last year’s crowd was big and this years looks like about 10,000 which is just what we’d hoped for.
“Sheffield is synonymous with bike racing, we have a proud history of it, and there are some great names here today ready to do us proud.”