VIDEO: Ackworth gives Tour de Yorkshire riders a warm welcome to Wakefield district

Villagers in Ackworth showed off the pride they have in their community when the women's race of the Tour de Yorkshire whizzed through.

Three months of hard work had gone into decorating the village to welcome the riders.

Brian Hume snapped this photo of the riders passing through Pontefract.

Brian Hume snapped this photo of the riders passing through Pontefract.

Blue and yellow bunting, sponsored by local businesses and put together by Ackworth Needles and Pins and members of the community, lined the route.

And at Moor Top roundabout, wooden bicycles decorated by primary school children had pride of place, as riders got their first glimpse of the village.

Darren Darley, who watched with his son Daniel and wife Adele, said: "It was pretty awesome, really exciting. The community has come together and made Ackworth amazing."

Paul Kelly, Peter Hanby and Malcolm Halstead likened the event to the Olympic torch relay, with the community atmosphere.

Wendy Cooper and Jude Doyle along the tour route in Ackworth.

Wendy Cooper and Jude Doyle along the tour route in Ackworth.

Mr Kelly said: "It's been a real focal point for everyone. It's superb for the village."

Celebrations focused around Carr Bridge Pavilion, where a big screen was showing the race live.

Hundreds of people cheered, waved flags and clapped as the female riders flew past just before 10.30am, many wearing yellow.

Wendy Cooper and Jude Doyle were one of a handful of those sporting a custom designed Tour de Yorkshire Ackworth T-shirts, created by the Needles and Pins group.

Coop Ackworth had one of several stalls raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Coop Ackworth had one of several stalls raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Wendy, who had been busy sewing 400m of bunting in the run up to race day, said: "It has been absolutely wonderful for the village to have this coming through. It has really brought us together. I must mention Helen Penty who has helped to co-ordinate all the decorations. She's been great."

Jude added: "It's been a real hive of activity this week. All hands have been on deck baking cakes, getting refreshments, putting up the bunting, decorating bikes. It's been fantastic."

Several groups ran stalls to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Lee Bayley, store manager at Ackworth coop, which had a Yorkshire themed hamper up for grabs, said: "The village looks immense. It's a really proud feeling."

Hooray! Pupils from Mill Dam School cheer on the riders.

Hooray! Pupils from Mill Dam School cheer on the riders.

More than 300 pupils from Ackworth Mill Dam School joined the crowds. They had decorated a bike with pictures symbolising Yorkshire.

Rob West, assistant head teacher, said: "The atmosphere has been brilliant. The children have been really excited and are feeling really proud to be from Yorkshire and part of Ackworth.."

The women's race this morning took in South Elmsall, Ackworth, Pontefract and Castleford on a Yorkshire-heritage inspired route from Barnsley to Ilkley.

The men's race will follow the same route this afternoon. It will run until Sunday.

This is the third time the Wakefield district has welcomed the tour and the fourth year the race, which is a legacy of the Tour de France Yorkshire Grand Depart, has taken place.

Cyclists ride through Pontefract. Picture by Brian Hume.

Cyclists ride through Pontefract. Picture by Brian Hume.