The Tour de Yorkshire Trophies were welcomed to Harrogate with open arms when they visited this week.

The Tour de Yorkshire Trophies were welcomed to Harrogate with open arms when they visited this week.

This year, the spa town will host the Stage 2 finish of the men's race and also the finish of the women's race on Saturday, 29 April. The finish line will be in Parliament Street, next to the Stray, which in 2014 was the location of the stage 2 finish of the Tour de France.

The Y-shaped men's and women's trophies were welcomed by Nigel Avison, Harrogate Borough Council's Director of Economy and Culture, and Laura Crisp, PR Manager for Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, on Montpellier Hill outside the Montpellier Café, where the men's and women's winners of Stage 2 will receive a hamper of treats donated by the business.

Members of Wheel Easy and Cappuccino cycling clubs also braved Montpellier Hill to welcome the trophies back to Harrogate. 

Mr Avison said: "It was fantastic that we have had the opportunity to see the Tour de Yorkshire trophies today. The district is gearing up for the arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday, 29 April and Harrogate has the honour of hosting both the men's and women's finishes that day. We look forward to welcoming cycling fans from across the country to enjoy the thrills and excitement of this wonderful cycling event."

Cyclists from Cappuccino cycling club, Wheel Easy and Jo Armstrong, Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager for Harrogate Borough Council, had another chance to see the trophies in a very fitting setting at the start of the Beryl Burton Cycleway in Knaresborough.

Alison Wrigglesworth, of the Alzheimer's Society, also went along to see the glittering prizes.

The Society is the official charity partner of Tour de Yorkshire 2017 and money raised over the weekend will go directly towards supporting the 67,000 people across Yorkshire living with dementia.

The Society is recruiting volunteers to take part in bucket collections at key locations along the race route. To sign up go to www.alzheimers.org.uk/tourdeyorkshire or call Julie Lee on 07872 676326.

Children from St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Knaresborough then took to their bikes when the trophies called in en route to the next destination.

Beryl Burton, who won seven world titles in cycling and a host of other races, was a former member of Knaresborough Cycling Club who lived in the town in later years. Her daughter, Denise Burton Cole, said: "I think this is a very special occasion. My mother would have been so pleased to see the race hosted in Yorkshire and the trophies visiting Knaresborough."

In Masham, the trophies were made welcome in the market place, where children from Masham CE Primary School were keen to see them. Local businesses and Masham Community Office, who are gearing up for the fantastic opportunities provided by the race weekend, also welcomed the trophies before they made a final trip to the Black Sheep Brewery, which has been in Masham since 1992.

Richard Flinton, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said: "We're really keen for local businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that the Tour brings with it and it's great to see business people in Masham getting behind the race."

The Tour de Yorkshire starts in Bridlington on Friday, 28 April and finishes on Sunday, 30 April in Fox Valley, Sheffield, where the winners will be crowned.

This story was published 4 April 2017