Eastwood gives a huge welcome to OVO Tour of Great Britain
The streets of Eastwood were thronged with people as stage four of the OVO Tour of Great Britain swept through the town.
They joined thousands of spectators around Nottinghamshire as the region hosted Stage four of the race - 164.7 km from Mansfield to Newark.
The streets were practically deserted until about 10.15 am and then the atmosphere just grew and grew.
Crowds lined the street and traffic using the road quickly cleared a path and for several minutes police bikes ran a gauntlet down the high street, cheered on by schoolchildren from Spring Bank and Lynncroft schools.
A helicopter could be heard overhead, probably for the ITV4 coverage.
Chris Blackburn of Lynncroft primary and nursery school said: “We are all looking forward to it - we have told the pupils all about the race and they have made their own flags to wave when the riders appear.
Pupil Millie Richards, 10 said: “I like cycling and I want to cheer them on when stage four gets here.”
When the Pelaton eventually arrived huge cheers erupted and the cyclists flashed by. It was over in seconds
Robert and Ann Mayers of Kimberley took his family to see the spectacle said: “It was very exciting - it was nice to take the kids it was exciting watching the lead and back up cars and the police speeding past - it was very well organised.
The lead car thanked us for our support and said we were one of the best crowds he had seen..
“Luckily our kids school doesn’t go back until tomorrow so we could bring them down to have a look.”
Cyclist Russel Woodcock of Eastwood said: “This is great for Eastwood - I am a mountain biker myself and I will give them a good cheer when the go past.”
Before the race arrived Shops and pubs entered into the spirit of things , decked with Union flags and coloured balloons.
The Headway charity shop on Nottingham Road had coloured balloons and a display of cycling helmets to mark the occasion.
Martin Hales Assistant manager said: “WE thought we would use the Tour of Britain to promote the use of safety helmets for cyclists. Headway is the UK-wide charity that works to improve life after brain injury and cycle helmets are an obvious way to prevent sustaining head injury.
“The Tour is brilliant news for Nottingham and Eastwood.”
Borxtowe Borough Council had a stall promoting walking an cycling around the borough. Organiser Andrew Hooley, himself a keen cyclist who has recently completed the coast to coast ride, said: ”Cycling is up and coming and we want to try and encourage people to take part in cycling fitness.”
A massive operation involving police and volunteer marshals made sure the road was clear and spectators and cyclists were kept as safe as possible.
Emma Pilgrim and Jodie Hayes volunteered through Derbyshire charity Sporting Futures.
She said: “I think it is good for the community that a major sporting event has come to town and raised its profile and brought people together . We have been working alongside volunteers from Broxtowe Borough Council giving people a friendly face to the organising. Lots of people have been asking us about the race time this morning.
We aim to raise the aspirations of young people by providing them with opportunities to achieve their potential and improve their lives through the power of sport and this has brought a lot of them out today it’s great.”