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VIDEO: Excitement building in Otley ahead of Tour de Yorkshire

VIDEO: Excitement building in Otley ahead of Tour de Yorkshire

Published at 6:01am 25th April 2016. (Updated at 5:54pm 26th April 2016)

Otley has been decorated with banners, bunting and flags, as the town prepares to host the start of Stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday.

The second stage is a particularly important milestone this year, as the inaugural women's race will follow exactly the same route as the men's race and has record prize money on offer.

Former Olympic silver medallist cyclist Emma Pooley will compete alongside Otley's very own world champion Lizzie Armitstead (pictured).

Councillor Ray Georgeson, Chair of Otley Town Council, said: "After the huge success of the Tour de France, last year's Tour de Yorkshire and with our proud heritage of hosting the annual road races, Otley is proud to be the host start town for Stage 2 of this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

"The excitement and buzz is building and we have been working hard to provide a full day's entertainment for our residents and visitors alike to make this a memorable occasion for all.

"This will undoubtedly be a fantastic event for Otley, especially given we are a cycling town and the proud home of world road racing champion Lizzie Armitstead. We are particularly looking forward to supporting Lizzie through the streets of her home town and welcoming everyone to Otley for this fantastic event."

Local residents and businesses have shown their support for Lizzie by featuring in this video:


Race timings, road closures and parking

The men's and women's races will both start from a closed section of Boroughgate, where the inflatable start arch will be situated, before the riders follow a 'ceremonial' route around the town centre.

Spectators will be able to spread out and get a close-up view of the riders via Westgate, Piper Lane, Bradford Road, West Chevin Road, Burras Lane, Station Road, Bondgate, Crossgate, Nelson Street, Walkergate and Cross Green, before heading towards Pool-in-Wharfedale on the A659 where the race will officially begin.

The women's race will get under way at 8.15am, which means that the roads will be affected between 7.45am and 8.45am.

The men's race starts at 2.20pm, meaning that the roads will be affected between 1.45pm and 2.45pm.

Road closures will generally be managed on a rolling basis, so that roads are not closed for a long period of time and any disruption is kept to a minimum.

For the safety of riders and spectators and to accommodate race infrastructure, team buses and supporting vehicles, there will be longer closures on the following roads between 7pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday:

  • Boroughgate (between Kirkgate and Cross Green)
  • Wesley Street
  • North Parade (between Cattle Market Street and Wesley Street)
  • Courthouse Street (between North Parade and Clapgate)

All on-street parking will be suspended during these road closures.

The market square will be closed to vehicles for the same period, with both market and street café trading suspended on the day.

Advanced warning and road signs will be used in the lead-up to the event to help inform residents and spectators of restrictions.

Residents are also being advised that refuse collections will not take place on Saturday, with replacement collections on Sunday instead.

There is also likely to be some disruption to public transport services on the day and details of any bus service interruptions and/or temporary diversions will be available at or by calling (0113) 245 7676.

Public car parking for the event will be available at Station Top car park (access off East Chevin Road) and Wharfebank Business Centre car park (Ilkley Road).

Facilities for disabled spectators will include an accessible viewing area near the start line and designated blue badge parking at Beech Hill car park on Westgate.

For any access queries or more information, you can contact Leeds City Council's events team by sending an e-mail to


Otley Town Council and Leeds City Council have organised activities throughout the day to entertain the crowds between races.

They include street entertainers, marching bands including the City of Leeds Pipe Band and the Paradise Steel Band, buskers and two children's cycling processions.

Riders from the Otley Cycle Club mini-flyers will set off before the women's race and pupils from all five primary schools in Otley and Prince Henry's Grammar School will ride out before the men's race.

The market place will be used as the official sign-in position, with riders parading along Market Street.

A large screen showing the live TV broadcast of both races will also act as a focal point in the market place for spectators throughout the day.

There will also be a free 'spectator hub' on Garnett's Field next to the river, showing full coverage of both races on the big screen.

Food, refreshment and toilet facilities will be available throughout the day, together with various family activities, fairground rides and entertainment.

Various other events and activities have been organised by the local community, providing indoor TV coverage and refreshments at Otley Rugby Club, Otley Courthouse and local churches, as well as local shops, cafés and other businesses.

The team buses, which are accessible to the public, will be located in the North Parade car park and on the closed sections of Wesley Street, North Parade and on part of Boroughgate.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: "We are delighted to welcome the Tour to Leeds again this year.

"There is a huge passion for cycling across the city - evident for the whole world to see thanks to the incredible atmosphere at the Grand Départ in 2014 and last year's inaugural Tour de Yorkshire.

"I'm confident the people of Leeds will again turn out in their thousands and do the city proud at this great event.

"This is a great opportunity to put Otley on the map, and as with the Tour de France, we know visitors will benefit from a fantastic Yorkshire welcome."