Thousands celebrate the Tour of Britain in Pendle
Local people and visitors thronged the towns and villages of Pendle for the Tour of Britain Stage 2 yesterday, with well over 30,000 people cheering Petr Vakoc’s heroic finish in Colne.
And an estimated 4,000 were at the Nick O’ Pendle King of the Mountain.
They were close to Pendle sculptor Philippe Handford’s stunning giant bike installation across the broad back of Pendle Hill.
Councillor Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who played a part in making yesterday’s Stage 2 race such a huge success.
“It was fantastic to see local residents and visitors come out in force!
“Pendle was seen at its very best, both by everyone who was there on the day and around 200 million people who watched the race from around the world,” he said.
Race results, some compelling videos and pictures from Tour of Britain Stage 2 can be seen on Pendle Council’s website: www.tourofbritainstage2.co.uk
“It was a great boost for the area as well as being enjoyed by thousands of residents and the many visitors who came here on such an amazing day,” he added.
“We’ll be inviting people to make a return visit and encouraging new visitors to come and enjoy spending time – and money – in Pendle!” He said.
Winner Petr Vakoc, the Czech champion riding for Etixx Quick-Step, took the lead outside Whalley and held it right to the finish. He said:
“In the end it was just me!”
“It was a pretty tough finish. I was not looking back – just hoping no-one would pass me!
Petr still had chance to take in Pendle’s stunning countryside. He said:
“It’s a really beautiful place – I had time to notice! But there wasn’t time for sightseeing!”
Peter Williams from Skipton, who often takes his dog out for a walk on Pendle Hill, was a sprint winner on the One Pro British Cycling Team. He said:
“It’s a tough stage. It’s been up and down all day! I made it hard for myself!”
“I live in Skipton so I know the roads.
“I rode it last week and I knew how hard it was going to be! It’s a hard, grippy stage!”
He uses Pendle and the Ribble Valley for training.
“I often head out West to Pendle and the Trough of Bowland. It’s so quiet! It’s a great place to ride a bike!”
Brian Cookson OBE, President of the International Cycling Union, was Pendle Council’s head of regeneration for nine years.
He was at the heart of the action, riding in the race vehicle following the cyclists and glad to be back in Pendle.
He said: “The Tour of Britain race has put Pendle on the world stage.
“The route was great and the crowds were out in force! It was a very exciting day!”
“The TV images were spectacular,” he added.