The Tour de Yorkshire (TdY) 2017

Bunting Bunting

Penistone TdY Launch Day - Saturday 1st April 2017.
Penistone's Tour de Yorkshire festivities were launched on by Penistone Mayor, Cllr Paul Hand-Davis, along with the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Millner, the public, press and others watching on. Children from St John’s Primary School joined in the fun by cycling up Church Street (road closed) from the Community Centre and cheering with the milling throng. The Mayor was not in the best of health, having suffered a road accident in London, but he did his best while wearing a neck-brace and walking with sticks. This began a month for local groups and individuals to plan events, activities and decorations ready for the big TdY day.

The focal point of the launch was a blue/yellow mock-up of a giant T-Shirt being attached to the 80-foot tower of Penistone Church by Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team. It only lasted one day before high winds caused it to tear at the bottom and it was brought down for repairs. It was soon repaired and put back, in plenty of good time for the big day. However, at some point its height was reduced and it was re-attached to the very top part of the tower with some bunting placed below it. A much larger banner (with a big hole for the clock face) was attached to Wortley church tower, again by Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team (26th April). On the Race Day, 30th April, Wortley's and Penistone's church bells rang out with great vigour for the race.

Penistone Gets Ready for the TdY

Bicycle Sculpture - Maundy Thursday 13th April 2017.
Bike LogoA steel sculpture by local artist Suze Crawshaw was affixed to the 'Penistone One' building overlooking St Mary's Street roundabout. Suze's work was created and constructed at no charge as her personal contribution towards Penistone's TdY celebrations. The steel had been paid for by a donation. The finished sculpture looks well and has been well-received by residents in the district. Much credit goes to Dransfield Properties for allowing it to be fixed to their building as a permanent feature. It is in exactly the right place to be visible through the arch of the T-P Trail bridge, when entering Penistone from Bridge Street (which is actually named after 'Penistone Bridge' at Bridge End).

One Week Before - Sunday 23rd April 2017.
Local cyclist Simon Tucker invited cyclists to join him in a Peloton for part of the TdY route: 'Okay ladies and gentlemen; listen up. How would you like to ride a section of the Tour De Yorkshire course and feel what it is like to be a part of the pro peloton? Well here is your chance.' Riders from Holmfirth Cycling Club congregated at the Blacksmiths Arms, Millhouse Green, and allowed non-members to join their peloton for part of the TdY course to Wortley. Upon completing their run, they continued to the 'Full Gas Bikes' shop at Fox Valley, Stocksbridge, for free hot drinks.

Penistone on TV - Wednesday 26th April 2017.
Sir Gary Verity of 'Welcome to Yorkshire' and the Tour de France Director, Christian Prudhomme, came to Penistone, where they met Mark Dransfield of Dransfield Properties, Penistone Town Mayor Cllr Paul Hand-Davis, assorted community organisers and children from St John's School. After a beer or two in the Old Crown, they (not the kids) went on to Wortley church to see the fantastic TdY banner. On Look North, Christian Prudhomme said: "The Grand Depart 2014 was the grandest Grand Depart ever. I have said before it is 'when not if' it comes to Yorkshire again. It is engrained in my heart."

By the way, to the thousands of media people reading this, please do not say: "The Tour de Yorkshire has come to Barnsley" or "Barnsley celebrates the Tour de Yorkshire" - Barnsley is not on the route and is too far away to be part of it (other than paying for field art with 'Barnsley' on it). It's nowt to do with them. What's more, it undermines our town's sense of identity and community to describe it as being 'in' a bigger town eight miles away.

The Community Pulls Together - Throughout April 2017.
For those of you reading this from outside our area, Penistone and the surrounding district went Tour de Yorkshire doo-lally this year, with entertainments, decorations and events planned for the big day. Many local shops, cafes, pubs and other businesses decorated up and opened on the Race Day. There were Yorkshire flags, banners and yellow/blue buntings a-plenty throughout the area, invoking the festival atmosphere. Some houses on the route were also decorated. Local schoolies and scouts made a great effort with TdY banners and decorations.

Race Day

The Tour de Yorkshire 2017 - Sunday 30th April 2017.
Sunday 30th April 2017 was Race Day of Stage 3 of the international Tour de Yorkshire bicycle race. Weather-wise, it was a mild if breezy day but generally overcast with occasional glimpses of sunshine. As the late morning progressed, Penistone came alive with music and festivities, supported by a very large number of people. We were fortunate that our area had been chosen as part of the route this year, as it passed us by previously. The finishing part of the Stage 3 route had been agreed to include our part of South Yorkshire, by Sir Gary Verity ('Welcome to Yorkshire' and race organiser) and local developer Mark Dransfield (Dransfield Properties). Dransfield Properties had helped regenerate Penistone's market area with the Markey Barn, car park and Tesco, before constructing the Fox Valley shopping centre.

The race started in Bradford at 12.30pm, to a countdown by the crowd. It passed through some scenic places, such as Skipton and Saltaire, and some less so, but the character of 'God's Own County' of Yorkshire shone through on TV, with its churches, stone-built town centres, drystone walls, patched-up roads, enthusiastic crowds and the many Yorkshire flags being waved. The race became perhaps more interesting to local people as it reached Huddersfield, Honley and Holmfirth, before entering South Yorkshire around 30 minutes later than expected. Riders would have been pedalling into a headwind from the south-east which might have been strong and gusty on the tops. Some of the roadside flags were rippling in the breeze. The race was being shown live on ITV4 and Eurosport.

As spectators, we had not the slightest idea of the progress of the race, who was in front or even when it might arrive in town. Even after waiting a long time standing in the same spot, the crowd was in high spirits. Some brave souls (Councillor Millner for one) would start up the cheers and Mexican waves. A rousing cheer would go up every time an amateur cyclist tootled past, to cries of "You're the FIRST!" and ripples of laughter. Even the Police motorbikes and support cars elicited wild cheers and waving. They usually smiled and waved back. Every loud cheer seemed to set off the bell ringers, who could not see what was happening outside the church tower.

At around 4.40pm, the riders passed through Millhouse Green and Thurlstone (spelt wrong on TV) and there were some good aerial views on TV. The field art created by Thurlstone Primary School received a special mention by the commentator and looked good. Some artistic camera work lingered too long on close-ups of a wheel nut or a rider's nose to let us see the Thurlstone public. We could not recognise them from their feet. The crowd at Bridge End fared better and was shown a couple of times. Unfortunately there was a collision between cyclists at Bridge End but there did not appear to be any injuries. A good many Police and other motorbikes had passed through before the riders finally arrived. Two very fast motorcycles preceded the lead bunch through the town centre. After the short but steep climb from Bridge End, the riders passed through Penistone town centre to an enthusiastic, flag-waving crowd and loud cheers. The lead riders were difficult to photograph with moving so quickly.

There were some good aerial views of Penistone Church and Penistone Viaduct on ITV4 but not much of the town centre crowd, as the cameras had diverted to the prang at Bridge End. TV adverts came on soon afterwards. After Penistone, Spring Vale and Oxspring, riders had the long climb of Thurgoland Bank, where Barnsley MBC had (very generously) paid for its name to be painted on an intricate field artworks. Wortley church was clearly shown on TV with its huge banner. Then the riders headed south to a tough stretch of four categorised climbs at Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones. The finish line was at Fox Valley shopping area in Stocksbridge. Then on to the bike shop to quench their thirsts. The race over-ran the TV schedule and some TV recordings were cut off before it finished, denying the participating crowds a full replay of the complete race. The ITV4 highlight programme went straight from Silsden to Midhopestones after an ad break, cutting our section out. A planned Spitfire fly-past of Fox Valley was cancelled, according to Fox Valley Facebook, due to 'adverse weather conditions.'

The Race Route

The Stage 3 Tour de Yorkshire Route
Starting from Bradford at 12.30pm, the cycle race passed through: Fenay Bridge (Approx. 3.30pm, approx. 82 miles); Almondbury; Farnley Tyas; Honley; Brockholes; Holmfirth but not Holme Moss (3.50pm, 89 miles); Hade Edge; Millhouse Green, Thurlstone; Penistone Shrewsbury Rd. (4.10pm, 97miles); Spring Vale; Oxspring; Thurgoland; Wortley (4.20pm, 103 miles); Down Finkle Street; Green Moor; Down Underbank Lane; Stocksbridge (4.35pm, 108 miles); Deepcar; Bolsterstone; Wigtwizzle; Up Ewden Bank; Midhopestones (4.52pm, 117Miles); Up Mortimer Road To Cranberry Crossroads and down Underbank Lane Again. Finish Line is at Fox Valley shopping centre, Stocksbridge (around 5pm). Total distance is just over 122 miles (194.5 km). For race timings, see the TdY Graphic and, for our bit, see the graphic below. On the day, the race came through late.

Timings of the race.   Map of local route.

TdY Festival Time in Penistone

Penistone coat of armsPenistone town centre came alive on Race Day, with a very happy and jokey atmosphere and something for everyone. There was music everywhere, with Thurlstone Brass Band outside the Spar and rock bands outside the Spread Eagle, Old Crown, the Launderama and the bridge inn (no capitals in its name). Our surrounding places also had plenty of events to join in the TdY festival spirit (see below).

The town centre was criss-crossed by blue/yellow bunting and the crowd waved their TdY and Yorkshire flags. Music continued in the Market Barn after the race was a sweaty blur. Best of all - the entertainment was all free. There were drinks stalls, mini-bars and fast-food stalls (but not much vegetarian). It was in fact a belter of a day, with some of the largest crowds in the town centre since the days of Whitsuntide and peace parades. Watching the TV playback, I would say that we did as well, or better than, just about anywhere on the route, although Holmfirth put up a good show of crowds and bunting.

Unusually for a Sunday, many of the local cafés and shops were open, providing food, drink and further entertainment. Penistone FM broadcast from locations on the race route. A new shop opened for the first time on Race Day. This was 'Scrummy Scents with Love', next to Green Kleens, selling such as scented candles and some lovely bath-bombs.


Live Music on Race Day
Outdoor music stages were sited at the locations below.

The Spar, High Street

  • All afternoon (except the Race Break)
    - Thurlstone Brass Band.

The Market Barn, Back Lane.

  • All afternoon (except the Race Break)
    - Stalls, food, Live music
  • 6pm to 10pm - Closing event.

The 'bridge inn', Bridge End.

  • 11:10am to 11:40am – Toby Burton
  • 11:50am to 12:20pm – Craig Roystone
  • 12:30pm to 1pm – Paravia
  • 1:10pm to 1:40pm – Danny Smart
  • 1:50pm to 2:20pm – Andy Turbitt
  • 2:30pm to 3pm – Megan Blackburn
  • ---------- Race Break --------
  • 4:30pm to 5pm – Jacob Fox
  • 5:15pm to 5:45pm – Absent Average

Pen Launderama, Bridge Street.
A bar too, 'The Sheep and Lettuce'.

  • 11:10am to 11:40am – Wilde Sammon
  • 11:50am to 12:20pm – Emily Worton
  • 12:30pm to 1pm – Stephen Mone
  • 1:10pm to 1:40pm – Keiran La Fox
  • 1:50pm to 2:20pm – Nathan Kozma
  • 2:30pm to 3pm – Megan Roome
  • ---------- Race Break --------
  • 4:30pm to 5pm – We Might Be Droids
  • 5:15pm to 5:45pm – The Willows

Old Crown Inn, Market Street.

  • 11:10am to 11:40am – Andy Turbitt
  • 11:50am to 12:20pm – Megan Blackburn
  • 12:30pm to 1pm – Jacob Fox
  • 1:10pm to 1:40pm – Absent Average
  • 1:50pm to 2:20pm – Toby Burton
  • 2:30pm to 3pm – Craig Roystone
  • ---------- Race Break --------
  • 4:30pm to 5pm – Paravia
  • 5:15pm to 5:45pm – Danny Smart

Lancaster's (Estate Agent), High Street.

  • 11:10am to 11:40am – Nathan Kozma
  • 11:50am to 12:20pm – Megan Roome
  • 12:30pm to 1pm – We Might Be Droids
  • 1:10pm to 1:40pm – The Willows
  • 1:50pm to 2:20pm – Wilde Sammon
  • 2:30pm to 3pm – Emily Worton (P)
  • ---------- Race Break --------
  • 4:30pm to 5pm – Stephen Mone
  • 5:15pm to 5:45pm – Keiran La Fox

Festivities in the District



Millhouse Green

Spring Vale




Local TdY Competitions


TdY Titbits

Bike LogoLinks

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