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Cycle excitement planned for North Devon children

[Friday 24 August 2012]

Tour of Britain

Following the recent Olympic success of Team GB cyclists, it's hoped North Devon children will come out to enjoy their own cycling moment next month.

The Devon leg of the Tour of Britain starts in Barnstaple on Saturday 15 September, with Tour de France and Olympic time-trial champion Bradley Wiggins among the riders. To mark the occasion, a children's ride-out will take place over Long Bridge, just moments before the world's top riders set off along the same route.

The town's mayor, Councillor Lesley Brown, will be starting the ride-out. She says: "I'm delighted to be involved in this fantastic sporting event and hope that the children who take part in the ride-out will also be inspired. They will be joined by a group of marines from RMB Chivenor, and I hope the crowds that gather along the start of the route will cheer on the young riders as they pass by."

The ride-out is just one part of Barnstaple's Big Cycling Weekend, a programme of events to coincide with the Tour of Britain through North Devon. The programme is being organised by Barnstaple Town Council, with support from North Devon Council and Barnstaple Town Centre Management.

One of the other events is a children's slow bike race. Organiser and town councillor, Ricky Knight, says: "The Olympic Games have really inspired our communities to take an interest in sport and we hope this race for children will keep that momentum going. The race is quite simple - it's a case of who can travel a set distance in the slowest time possible, without putting their feet down. It's open to all secondary school children who passed through the Bikeability scheme - that's cycling proficiency at their primary school. So, we hope as many as possible will come down and give it a go!"

Councillor Knight will be at the Park and Ride car park in Rock Park, Barnstaple at 8am. This is so Bikeability riders, plus any families, can meet with him to cycle down to The Square together.

The children's ride-out will be open to the first 30 children who register on the morning at the Bikeability gazebo on The Square. Again, this is for young riders who are at secondary school. Those who take part will need to bring their own bike, helmet and preferably a high visibility jacket. They will then need to meet at the gazebo by 9.30am, ready to ride out at 10am sharp.

Meanwhile, the children's slow bike race will take place on The Square, after the Tour of Britain riders have set off, at around 10.45am.

North Devon Council's Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Derrick Spear, says: "As well as the children's events on the Saturday, there are various other activities and displays planned to entertain the whole family. Plus, the night before, there are criterium races going right through the town centre, which we hope will thrill the crowds. So I hope the communities of North Devon will show their full support by coming out to enjoy the sporting weekend."

The Devon leg of the Tour of Britain is being organised by Devon County Council. For further information on the actual race, including the route, timings and latest news, go to the South West Tour of Britain website (external website).

You can also follow the excitement on Facebook (external website) by searching for Tour of Britain - South West.

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