Sunflowers PicCOMMUNITIES across Middlesbrough painted the town yellow to give the Tour de Yorkshire a true Teesside welcome.

When the cream of world cycling pedalled across the town on Sunday, May 1 local, the race’s signature colours were everywhere to be seen.

And as the peloton rolled onto Marton Road, they were met with a sea of more than 100 yellow sunflowers all lovingly made by hand.

The colourful display was created by the Starz Fridays youth group at St Agnes Church in Easterside, led by Elaine Curry and Sue Turner.

They were part of a major drive by the four local Community Councils – Beechwood, Easterside, Park and Grove Hill – to create a carnival atmosphere along the route.

In the build-up to the big day community leaders and volunteers painted bikes, made flags for children to wave along the route and created replica Captain Cook hats for them to wear.

Now more than 30 of the sunflowers have found a new home in the Teesside Hospice shop on Linthorpe Road, with a warm welcome from the charity’s mascot Sonny the Sunflower.

Cllr Teresa Higgins, ward member for Longlands and Beechwood and co-ordinator of the local initiative, said: “We were determined to show the Tour de Yorkshire a true Middlesbrough welcome, and we really showed off what this town is all about.

“The sunflowers were part of a fantastic display created by the local community, so it was great to be able to find them a new home with Teesside Hospice.

“They created a blaze of colour on the day, and I’m pleased they will carry on giving pleasure now the Tour has left town.”

Teesside Hospice Assistant Marketing Manager Ashleigh Chapman said: “We are thrilled Middlesbrough Council have donated these sunflowers to the hospice.

“The Starz Fridays Kids Club have done a great job creating them as well as Elaine Curry, Susan Turner and members of St. Agnes Church, Easterside.

“The Hospice’s colours are turquoise and yellow so the flowers tie in perfectly and will make a spectacular window display for throughout our Sunflower Campaign.

“Thank you for thinking of us and allowing us to put these beautiful creations to another good use!”

For full results of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire, visit letour.yorkshire.com and for information on cycling activities in Middlesbrough visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk and lovemiddlesbrough.com/enjoytheride