The Grand Départ: Cyclists tow a grand piano up part of the Yorkshire Tour de France route

18 cyclists drag piano and its player up longest continuous ascent in England to mark 100 days to go

A team of 18 cyclists has towed a baby grand piano up the longest continuous ascent in England, Cragg Vale - part of the Yorkshire Tour de France route.

imove arts and Hebden Bridge Piano Festival staged the event as part of Yorkshire Festival 2014 to celebrate the Tour’s visit to Yorkshire in 100 days.

Using a a PianoPorté – an invention by the sculptor Andy Plant to ascend the six mile climb, the cyclists were cheered on by thousands of locals and tourists along the way, with rousing live piano concertos from 15 on board pianists to encourage their pedalling.

Onlooker and Mytholmroyd resident, Brenda Greenwood, told the Halifax Courier: “It’s been brilliant so far - it’s really getting us in the spirit for the Tour de France. It’s a great way to promote our village as a lot of people don’t know were here or even how to pronounce it - this will certainly put us on the map.”

Another, Nina Wardcock said: “This is a great opportunity for us to show the world what we do and to show people what beautiful landscape we have. It’s great to see the village so full of people.”

To see a film of the cyclists in action, click here.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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