RECORD-BREAKING crowds lined the streets of North Kirklees to watch the Tour de Yorkshire pass through last Sunday.
The peloton whistled through Birstall, Gomersal, Liversedge, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Mirfield as raucous crowds cheered them on.
It was a sight to behold in Birstall as the town was heaving from midday onwards with an array of stalls and activities.
Shop windows were adorned in blue and yellow bunting, in keeping with the Tour spirit.
The cyclists entered the district through Cleckheaton, where thousands lined the streets in the town centre, then rode their way up to Gomersal before arriving in Birstall to be greeted by swarms of people.
TV broadcasters respectfully acknowledged the sight of the cyclists making their way past the spot where MP Jo Cox was murdered last June, and Batley councillor Shabir Pandor said the event brought the community together in a way that Mrs Cox would have been proud of.
He said: “Jo used to say ‘there’s a lot more that binds us together than sets us apart’ and that was certainly true with this event.
“It seemed as if the whole community came together for a common purpose. It was a special feeling.”
From Birstall, the peloton sped through the outskirts of Heckmondwike and then Liversedge and Mirfield, where they were again greeted by buoyant support.
Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt said: “The crowds were gathering long before the riders came past and they just grew and grew.
“People were getting in the party spirit early on. It was a great celebration and the whole community got together, which was great to see.”
Race organisers said a total of 2.2 million people had lined the three-day route, eclipsing last year’s event by 200,000.