Tour of Britain creates a buzz in Midhurst and Petworth

THEY whizzed through the area in a matter of seconds.

It was a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment, but the Tour of Britain cyclists still managed to create a buzz in Midhurst and Petworth.

Tour of Britain 2014. The Tour of Britain cycle race passes through Petworth town on stage 7. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP130914TB07 SUS-140913-182349008

Tour of Britain 2014. The Tour of Britain cycle race passes through Petworth town on stage 7. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP130914TB07 SUS-140913-182349008

Around 100 of the world’s top cyclists – including British sporting heroes Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish – entered the district for stage seven, Camberley to Brighton.

The winning jersey for the gruelling 226km leg was won by Julien Vermote.

Cycling enthusiasts gathered to catch a glimpse of their heroes through Fernhurst, Easebourne, Tillington, Petworth and Wisborough Green. The streets of Easebourne were briefly brought to a standstill as hundreds lined the pavements, trying to get a good vantage point and show their support for the riders.

District and County councillor Janet Duncton said: “Petworth came out in force for the Tour of Britain and took every opportunity to promote cycling and show what Petworth has to offer.

“It took a lot of organisation with both Chichester District and County working together.

“Petworth Town Council also put a lot of effort into bringing everyone together and making it another memorable event.”

At Midhurst Rother College, students took part in a cycling challenge, logging their distances cycled in the gym, or the journey to and from college. They clocked an impressive 1,039 miles collectively.

Councillor Eileen Lintill said: “It was great to see the thousands of people who came out to support the tour. The atmosphere in our towns and villages was fantastic, with everyone getting into the spirit of the event. This was a chance for us to showcase what our district has to offer and to hopefully encourage visitors from outside the area to return in the future.

“Early indications show the event had a very positive impact on our economy.

“One business has told us it was the best Saturday they have ever had. Similar stories have been shared from other businesses, which have also reported a significant increase in the number of visitors from outside the area.

“We’re also hoping it has encouraged more people to take up cycling.

“Overall, the tour has had a really positive impact on the district and we hope we can build on this success with other events and initiatives in the months and years to come.”