Le Tour: Calderdale filling up with globe-trotting fans

Brian Hancock and daughter Jemma at Elland CC for Le Tour
Brian Hancock and daughter Jemma at Elland CC for Le Tour

It’s not only Yorkshire folk that are pitching up to watch the Grand Depart in Calderdale.

Brian Hancock and his daughter Jemma, 12, have travelled from Kirkby-in-Ashfield near Mansfield to see the race.

Brain said: “We thought it was close-by and thought we’d come up for the weekend - we just wanted to be part of it.

“We got here about 2pm yesterday and watched some of the race on TV and watched some of the football.

“It’s just the atmosphere and being here.

“I think we’ll walk up to the hill so it’s a bit slower going by rather than whizzing past us.”

Globe-trotting friends Jonny Ramsey, Nick Keane and Gareth Walker, all from East Anglia, are all keen cyclists and have previously watched the Tour de France in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Now the trio are in Calderdale to watch this year’s Grand Depart, and after tucking into breakfast at Elland Cricket Club, will be taking to their bikes for a prime viewing spot in the Pennines.

Gareth said: “We’ve just winged it really - we didn’t organise anything but it’s turned out really well.

“Some people I know live just round the corner so we rocked up in the car yesterday.

“My girlfriend’s brother-in-law’s sister Sue, who works at the local school, has been really helpful and gave us a tour of the area.

“We went to Skipton to watch the race yesterday and it was absolutely packed.

“There were a lot more spectators than we thought there would be.

“We’re going to cycle up to Holme Moss, which is about 15 miles away, to watch it today.”

Jonny said: “It was a bit unfortunate what happened to Cavendish but it’s either all or nothing with him.

“We want Froome to win but Contador has got a good chance.”