Budding cyclists to visit North Devon schools

PUPILS at a number of schools across Devon will have the chance to meet some of the region s future cycling stars over the next fortnight. In the run up to The Tour of Britain returning to Devon on September 17 and 18, the South West Bike Academy is visi

PUPILS at a number of schools across Devon will have the chance to meet some of the region's future cycling stars over the next fortnight.

In the run up to The Tour of Britain returning to Devon on September 17 and 18, the South West Bike Academy is visiting a number of schools in the county to encourage children to take up cycling or to cycle more often.

Devon County Council and Somerset County Council are hosting the South West stages of The Tour of Britain, which cover 346km of the two counties. Stage Six starts in Frome and will take the riders across Exmoor and into Devon, before finishing at Bideford. The following day is the penultimate day of the race, with Stage Seven setting out from Hatherleigh and finishing in Yeovil.

Some of the Academy riders and team manager David Walters will be helping to promote all forms of cycling, as well as health, fitness and sustainable travel at the schools, which are all close to the route of the South West stages.


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On Friday, they will be visiting Bratton Fleming Primary, Newport Primary, Barnstaple, Pathfield School, Barnstapl and Our Lady's Catholic Primary, Barnstaple.

On Wednesday of next week, the cyclists will visit Pilton Community College, Barnstaple, St Mary's, Bideford, and East-the-Water, Bideford.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "These visits are great for the children as the excitement builds up for the start of The Tour of Britain.

"The pupils will be meeting some of the best young riders in the South West and it brings cycling and cycle racing to life for them. We want Devon to be a cycling county and hopefully it will help the pupils discover the pleasure of cycling and its benefits for their health and the environment. It could help create a new generation of cyclists and, you never know, it may even inspire a youngster from Devon to ride in The Tour of Britain one day."

South West Bike Academy manager David Walters said: "We're proud to represent the South West as a cycle racing team, but we also want to promote cycling in general and our link with Devon and Somerset County Councils is helping us to do that. I'm delighted that we're able to help enthuse local children about cycling as a pastime, a sport and a form of transport that has so many benefits."

The Tour of Britain is the UK's biggest free to attend sporting event, attracting over a million spectators a year. The 2009 event begins in Scunthorpe on Saturday and finishes eight days later in the centre of London on September 19. For more information about the South West stages of the Tour of Britain visit: www.southwesttourofbritain.co.uk.

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