Pendle and the Ribble Valley’s joint hosting of Stage Two of the Tour of Britain launched with ‘flare’ atop a King of the Mountains Climb.
Civil dignitaries, cyclists and school children from both sides of Pendle Hill met on top of the Nick o’Pendle climb to launch Stage Two of the Aviva Tour of Britain which starts in Clitheroe and finishes in Colne on Monday, September 7th.
Green and white smoke flares were set off on the top after pupils from Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe cycled up the Ribble Valley side of the climb alongside Team Raleigh’s Ian Wilkinson while children from Pendle Vale College in Nelson rode up the Sabden side of the hill with Hope Technology’s Paul Oldham, meeting at the crest to exchange pennants.
Both groups of school children were using refurbished bikes in King of the Mountains’ green which are set for delivery to Kenya by charity Re-Cycle where they will go to Glad’s House in Mombasa which provides education, health and social support to street children.
Fans eager to pick their vantage spots for the 100-mile stage in September will have to wait until July for the final route with two Skoda King of the Mountains climbs still to be decided along with the Yodel sprint points.
However, confirmed on the route is Clitheroe, Sabden, Whalley, Ribchester, Longridge, Chipping, Dunsop Bridge, Slaidburn and Gisburn in the Ribble Valley.
The route then heads into Pendle taking in Barnoldswick, Earby, Barrowford and Barley before Clitheroe again in the Ribble Valley and back into Pendle via Brierfield and Nelson to Colne for the finish.
Mayor of the Ribble Valley, Coun. Bridget Hilton, said: “It’s a fantastic initiative, we’re all very excited and delighted it’s taking place within the Ribble Valley.
“Cycling is an activity that any age group can do at any ability.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends, you’re out in the open air, good exercise; everything that really is good for mental health as well as physical health. So it’s something we certainly want to promote.”
Leader of Pendle Council, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, said: “This is going to be a must-see event for local people and visitors.
“Cyclists weaving through Pendle’s wild landscape will make for a spectacular sight.
“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Ribble Valley Borough Council to host day two of this historic race.
“It’s a spectacular backdrop for Tour enthusiasts who want to see the cyclists put through their paces.”