The warmest of welcomes was displayed in the Peak District National Park as the world got a taste of Derbyshire during this year’s Tour de France Grand Depart.
Tens of thousands of spectators lined the Peak Park stretch of the route from Holme Moss to Woodhead, Bradfield and Langsett with Ladybower Reservoir providing the perfect backdrop.
The world’s eyes turned to Derbyshire and its beautiful, rolling hills were only matched by the warmth and support of the county’s fans as Stage Two of the 21 stage race moved from York to Derbyshire and on to Sheffield.
And the Peak District National Park Authority welcomed visitors during the build up and during the Tour including environment minister Lord de Mauley.
Jim Dixon, chief executive of the authority, said: “This has been a great opportunity for us to show the minister at first hand the hard work and extra efforts that our staff and partner organisations have dedicated to helping make the Grand Départ a fantastic event for everyone to celebrate and remember.”
Tour Maker volunteers, in turquoise t-shirts, advised droves of fans on the best viewing spots and routes to get the most out of the sport’s foray into the county.
Crowds gathered in patient, good spirits without trouble amidst a carnival atmosphere.
Cycle fundraiser and Tour Maker volunteer Charlie Last, of Dronfield, said: “The hill climbs like Holme Moss were amazing and there were so many fans in nearby villages and on the hills that you couldn’t see a blade of grass. You do not always see those kind of crowds in France.”
Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme claimed this year’s Grand Depart on UK and Derbyshire and Yorkshire soil was “the grandest depart ever”.