I own a bicycle, but I'm not the most committed cycle nut. I really enjoyed the cycling events I saw at London 2012, and the Tour de France coverage on TV this year was incredible. So when I won a Twitter competition run by Dartmoor National Park, to join them on their open top bus at Haytor for the Tour of Britain this year, I was ecstatic!
A VIP ticket for the top car park, and a prime view at the summit of this King of the Mountain stage were on offer. The 170km Devon section of this week long cycle event had several climbs, but this one was the headliner. Thousands of spectators had walked, cycled or driven up to the moor to watch. The route passed through Widecombe, Ponsworthy, Dartmeet, Two Bridges, Merrivale and Tavistock. Then North to Lydford, Okehampton, and East back towards Exeter. The NPA were understandably delighted by the turnout, and the weather. Sir Bradley Wiggins, Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish were just three of a stellar line up of professional cyclists on the tour. True - the build up, cyclists and race cars passed by within 20 minutes, but it made an exciting and unusual day out on the moor.
It was incredible to see the peloton speed up the hill, still chatting to each other as they cycled. Massive congratulations to all the competitors. If you haven't seen the Tour on the moor, then hope that it will return again soon. It seems that the Rugby World Cup matches in Exeter in 2015 will prevent the event returning to the county next year.