6:32am Wednesday 18th June 2014
CYCLISTS have questioned whether two roadside tributes to the Tour de France are in the best possible taste.
Landowner Christopher Bourne-Arton admits he has received complaints about a banner which declares Welcome to Widowmakers Bend beside the race route in West Tanfield, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.
And in Swaledale an old bike painted in Tour de France yellow placed in a garden to suggest the rider has crashed into a house has been described as "tasteless" by passing cyclists.
One cyclist, who asked not to be named, said: "I just don't think it sends out the right message to tour riders who are risking life and limb for their sport, not to mention what the television audiences will think."
But defending his banner Mr Bourne-Arton, said: "People keep trying to say that someone has died on the bend but nobody has died there.
"The only crash there has been was a lad who had a bit too much to drink and he wasn't hurt.
"It's not that dangerous a bend. If you were in a soap box derby it might be but not for professional riders.
"It's for the Tour de France that's all it is and it's just a bit of fun. As soon as the race is finished it will be taken down."
Tanfield Parish Council stressed that the banner was nothing to do with them, although the authority had received "comments" about the wording.
With less than three weeks to go until the Grand Depart takes place in Yorkshire, many residents and business owners along the route have placed painted yellow cycles outside their properties to celebrate the race.
But a bike without a wheel in a flowerbed in Gunnerside has attracted some critical comments.
A picture of the bike was tweeted by Coventry cycling enthusiast Mick Jones.
He said: "We have not been to the area before and have come up ahead of the Tour to cycle and drive round the route.
"We were impressed with the wonderful scenery and the way that the villages and towns were welcoming the event.
"But I found this the depiction of a cycle at odds with the spirit of the area and more like Jeremy Clarkson welcoming the tour."
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