Sidbury and Sidford go cycle crazy for Tour of Britain!

SIDBURY and Sidford went cycle crazy as the Tour of Britain passed through both villages last Friday.

SIDBURY and Sidford went cycle crazy as the Tour of Britain passed through both villages last Friday.

Residents, visitors and school children, who turned out in the region, were among record crowds that cheered on the race's penultimate stage from Hatherleigh to Yeovil.

Up to an hour of anticipation for some whizzed by in a flash of speed and colour.

Before the race, Sidbury residents Malcolm and Debbie Williams told the Herald: "We are really excited, that why we're here so early. We've been watching the highlights every night, it's really caught our interest."

John and Sally Robinson, who live in Hatway Hill, stopped on their way to the supermarket to enjoy the event. "We hope to see the village on television tonight," said John.

However, onlookers were left disappointed as both Sidbury and Sidford were omitted from a highlights show on ITV 4 later in the day.

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Sidbury C of E Primary school children made the most of the event, and gave their village's stint of the tour a loud and energetic boost as they waved flags and cheered on cyclists.

"It was a real treat for the whole school," said PE co-ordinator Amy Frost, adding: "It was made even more special for the children because the Tour of Britain officials provided maps and flags for the entire school. The event followed a two-week cycling competition, 'minutes on wheels', in which each class competed by clocking up minutes spent on their bikes and scooters. Both the competition and the event have raised awareness of the importance of being physically active and leading a healthy lifestyle."

Mick Bennett, technical director of the tour, described the crowds as "absolutely unbelievable."

Sidmouth and Sidford councillor Stuart Hughes, who is also Devon County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, echoed that sentiment and said: "I think everyone will admit that it was the crowds that made it special, and that level of enthusiasm shows why we want Devon to be known as a cycling destination. I'd like to thank everyone who turned out."

See photos in this week's Sidmouth Herald