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Tour de France 2014: Sheep painted in colours of race jerseys to celebrate start of competition

The farmer who painted the sheep also laid out a yellow jersey-shaped flower bed ahead of the event

A North Yorkshire farmer has celebrated the start of the Tour de France cycling tournament, by painting his flock of sheep in the colours of racing jerseys.

Keith Chapman’s animals graze at Daleside Nurseries in Killinghall, near Harrogate, where world-class cyclists will pass through as part of the race that starts in Yorkshire on Thursday.

While the event ends in Paris, France, it will see riders wind through areas of Leeds, Harrogate, Sheffield, Cambridge and London before moving across the English Channel on 8 July.

Using dye he would normally use to daub sheep during tupping season, Chapman told ITV that the his multi-coloured creatures have attracted a lot of attention.

Chapman added that a huge yellow jersey-shaped flower bed he had planted at the garden centre was also a popular attraction.

Some of his flock are decorated in the bright yellow of the maillot jaune, awarded to riders with the lowest aggregated time after each stage in the competition, while others were painted green to symbolise competitors with the most consistent finishing times


The flamboyant red polka dot animals represent riders who accumulate the most points cresting hills and mountains at the front of the race.