It had taken months of hard work and stress.

But last night, as some of the country’s top cyclists raced through the streets of Huddersfield, Martyn Bolt smiled and admitted: “It was worth it”.

The councillor and cycling buff had worked with bike fanatic Dave Sowerby to bring the first Criterium to the town.

And with riders taking part in three exciting races in front of large crowds lining the streets, Clr Bolt hoped it would be the first of many.

“This type of race is growing in popularity around the country.

Tour de Yorkshire 2014: The early bird catches the race at Holme Moss!  

“They are not difficult to manage in terms of circuits and crowd control and it is great that it brings something into the town centre at the end of a working day.

“A lot of businesses have backed us this year and hopefully more will want to get involved in the future, and I would love to see this become an annual event.

“This is the third such event in West Yorkshire this week and we have attracted some top-quality riders, and it is the perfect appetiser for the Tour de France which has come to Yorkshire”.

Clr Bolt said the races were very competitive around the tight circuit which included Market Street, High Street, the Town Hall and Victoria Lane and said it had proved a real test for the riders.

Some of them had flown in from the continent to take part, having raced in top events across Europe, while others are more homegrown talent - including several teenagers who train with the Liversedge-based Kirklees Cycling Academy.

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