RESIDENTS of Wharfedale are being encouraged to rekindle the spirit of last year’s Grand Depart by putting up bunting and joining in celebrations for the Tour de Yorkshire this weekend.

Yesterday world-class cyclist Ben Swift was at the Cow and Calf Rocks landmark in Ilkley, urging spectators to come out and cheer on Yorkshire’s heroes.

The Yorkshire-born sprinter visited Ilkley, home of the crucial final sprint on Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire.

He unveiled a giant replica of the official sprinters jersey, sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, on the landmark rocks.

Riders will on Sunday cycle past the iconic landmark, which has become synonymous with Ilkley and Yorkshire.

Spectators keen to see the action are expected to line The Grove to watch a dramatic sprint involving hero Bradley Wiggins and other top names.

With the big race set to dash through Addingham, Ilkley, Burley Woodhead, Menston and Pool-in-Wharfedale on Sunday, businesses and organisations are doing their bit to turn the race into a celebration on Sunday.

Addingham Memorial Hall will have children’s activities in the car park, and Addingham Cricket Club is putting on camping from Saturday night onwards. Many shops will be open.

There will also be live music and events such as beer festivals in village pubs, including The Crown – which is hosting Nadia’s Wish charity weekend – The Swan, The Fleece and The Fuggle. The village is also putting up bunting and has organised commemorative polo shirts.

Bars and cafes in Ilkley are expected to hold their own celebrations, and bands are expected to play roadside. The Grove is all set to be a major viewing point, along with the Cow and Calf Rocks, where many cycling enthusiasts are expected to gather to watch the sprint from an official spectator hub.

Bryan Websdale, who headed the group co-ordinating Tour de France celebrations in Ilkley last year, said he hoped residents and villagers would join in the fun.

He said: “It would be nice to ask local residents to put up their yellow bikes and bunting if they still have some from TDF.”

The 2015 Otley Street Festival will coincide with race day in Otley on Sunday.

Organised by local traders as a family-focused day of fun, the festival will feature stilt walkers, musicians, jugglers, Morris dancing, balloon modelling, and an array of live music. Running on Newmarket, Orchard Gate and Market Place from noon, the event will include children’s rides, face painting, picture colouring and lots of entertainment.

For more details see