7th July 2014 Anthony Rae writes It was a great day, thousands of people (here in Hebden Bridge, and everywhere else en route), well organised, beautiful weather … and after a long wait as the publicity caravan claxoned passed jettisoning spoils, the pelleton flashed before people’s eyes for a few seconds, and was gone.

Here’s a video that nicely captures that fleeting moment (at Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge). If up on the tops, with no mobile signal to keep you informed of the ETA of the approaching riders and 7 man breakaway, you were in a state of complete detachment from the evolving race. On the other hand you could watch it all from start to exciting finish on the giant screen at the ‘spectator hub’ in Calder Holmes park (again Hebden Bridge).

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Except that … as they whizzed down from the top of Oxenhope Moor the ITV coverage went to an ad break and by the time they returned the riders were through the town and away onto the ascent of Cragg Vale. To be fair the television coverage was there for the ‘Cote de Greetland’. However by the time Stage 2 had been edited for the one hour summary (here – till Sat 2nd August) the Calderdale section had been excised entirely and our Tour had just disappeared into the ether.

But for a few brief hours during the period of extended closure there was a brief moment for the Cyclists Republic as hundreds of ordinary riders had the freedom of the roads, before the motor vehicles and their accompanying sense of threat returned.