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Tour de France yellow fever strikes Lancashire
LAST-minute preparations are on track — both sides of the Lancashire and Yorkshire border — for the arrival of the Tour de France.
Two legs of the world-famous road race — from Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield - are scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday respectively.
But East Lancashire has already geared up for a tourism bonanza, with holiday homes and campsites in Rossendale, Pendle and the Ribble Valley vying for bookings.
And Colne and Nelson RUFC has also made a late pitch to cycling fans by offering their Holt House ground for campers and caravanners over the weekend.
Matty Tindall, a club coach, said: “This year we have just completed refurbishing our shower and toilet facilities and are able to provide catering in our on site café.”
The club, positioned almost exactly between the two legs, is also hosting a beer festival based around breweries along the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ routes.
Market traders in Todmorden are holding three all-day gatherings, opening until 7pm this Friday and Saturday and 9pm on Sunday, in honour of the occasion.
The town’s Centre Vale Park is set to host a ‘proms’ concert, staged by Todmorden Lions and featuring Todmorden Community Brass Band on Saturday, and there will also be a big-screen erected in Bramsche Square offering coverage of the race on Sunday.
Stage One of the tour from Leeds to Harrogate, starts at 11.10am on Saturday, srriving in Skipton around 12.46pm to 12.51pm.
The next day, Stage Two from York to Sheffield, starts at 11am, arriving in Hebden Bridge around 1.36pm to 1.51pm and Cragg Vale around 1.52pm to 2.08pm.
Several road closures, affecting cross-Pennine journeys, have already been announced and public transport will also be affected.
An extra train is scheduled to run from Manchester Victoria to Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.