Crowds saw off the 96 competitors in the fourth stage of the Women’s Tour from its start in Evesham and roared them home to the finish line in Worcester.

The long straight of Hylton Road was transformed into a track mirroring the racecourse just over the river Severn for the race sponsored by OVO Energy.

And hundreds of fans lined the streets of the city to see the race.

Gideon Thomas, 40, had come from Bristol and had staked out a good viewing point two hours before the riders were due.

He said: “I’ve come specially for the race, because it’s the nearest stage for me.

“I’ve never been to Worcester before. It looks great, I walked through from the railway station. I think I’ll definitely come again and have a look around.

“I’m a fan of both men’s and women’s cycling, and I think it’s great this is such a prestigious race. It’s a really shot in the arm for cycling.”

Ruth Haynes had come a somewhat shorter distance. She was standing on Sabrina Bridge just yards from the finish line and had come from Cherry Orchard in the city. She said: “This shows Worcester can put on really great events. I’ve lived here all my life and it’s really improved its sporting provision - and it’s great to have these sports here for everyone.”

Cutting a dash in breeches and argyle socks and a beret was Gerry McGarr who had ridden in his vintage kit on his vintage steel bike from Gloucester.

He said: “I used to come up in the old days to see the Worcester Evening News Road Race, it was one of the biggest in the country. You didn’t get crowds like this though – this shows how popular cycling is.”

Exactly how popular was heard when the riders flashed by in a mass sprint finish. The roar from the crows and the banging on the boards was close to deafening.

Ten-year-old Lucy Kirby, who’d come into Worcester with her mum Joanne, said: “That was amazing. I didn’t know they’d go so fast. I don’t know if I’d want to do it myself. It looked pretty scary.”

And after the presentations on the podium to the stage winner Amalie Dideriksen, and the jersey holders, with USA rider Coryn Rivera retaining the leaders green jersey into the final stage, the race crew swooped into action. tearing it all down.

Within a coupe of hours of the riders crossing the line, all the barriers, the finish line infrastructure and the race village were nearly packed away ready to be driven to Dolgellau in north-west Wales for the final stage which finishes in Colwyn Bay on Sunday.