Over 750 Cyclists Race Across Staffordshire For The Tour Ride
Over 750 cyclists turned out at Trentham Gardens this morning for the Stoke on Trent leg of the Tour Ride.
The Tour Ride follows the Tour Of Britain and gives members of the general public the chance to race along the route ridden by Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins last week.
Cyclists had the choice between two circuits to race, the pro-ride and the challenge ride.
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If riders felt up to the challenge, they could partake in the Pro-ride, the full 106 mile route as raced in Stage Five of the Tour of Britain.
At 64 miles in length, the Challenge Ride allowed riders the chance to ride through the same route, without the grueling uphill climbs of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
"There were some tough climbs," says rider Matthew Shingler.
"Generally speaking, it was a little too windy, but it could've been a lot worse – a lot wetter!"
"I started riding over a year ago, I needed a hobby and was taking part in a triathlon with some friends."
"We all just brought bikes and I've been cycling ever since".
Also competing in the challenge circuit were friends Glen Tower and Mark Trainer from Leicestershire.
"We finished in about three hours and seventeen minutes," says Glen ,"we skipped on all the feed stations and just went for it!"
So what is it about cycling?
"The lycra!" quips Mark.
"Now, that is a great way of dealing with the old mid-life crisis," laughs Glen.
"We both commute to work, so it saves money on petrol and gets you fit in the process!" says Glen, "I was about 16 stone before I started riding, I'm about 12 stone now".
"Its also cheap to get into, well… before you start taking it seriously, then it starts getting expensive!"
"There is also the social side," says Mark , "it's a great way of meeting new people and making friends".
There were many onlookers cheering on the riders as they began to cross the finish line after midday.
One such onlooker was Patrick Buckley from Wolstanton – "I'm a cycling enthusiast," says Buckley, "I watch the Tour de France every year, we were also glued to the Tour Of Britain and came out to watch it start here in Trentham last week".
"Its obviously smaller than Tour de France, but it's brilliant that we can come down and see such big name cyclists competing".
"Just the thing to watch now the Olympics have ended!"
The Tour Ride continues next week in Birmingham at the NEC to coincide with Cycle Show 2012.