Video: Tour of Britain Stage 2

Tour of Britain Stage Two winner Petr Vakoc gave the thumbs up to Pendle.

The Czech cyclist was full of praise for the 99-mile course from Clitheroe to Colne as the crowds cheered on the likes of Vacok, his team-mate Mark Cavendish and Olympian and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins on Monday.

Stage two of the Tour of Britain at Whitewell in the Ribble Valley.  Ben Swift at the front of Team Sky riders.

Stage two of the Tour of Britain at Whitewell in the Ribble Valley. Ben Swift at the front of Team Sky riders.

“I really enjoyed the course,” said Vakoc (23) of the Quick-Step team. “It’s a beautiful place and there are a lot of green hills.

“I also had time to notice some really nice buildings. Saying that, the race was hard and there wasn’t really time for sight-seeing but it definitely makes it better when you are racing through such beautiful places.”

People young and old, cyclists and cycle fans all lined the roads on the Stage Two course and, with the sun out, the Pendle countryside was shown off to its best.

Ian Bibby, from Longridge, was the first up the Nick o’ Pendle and climbed to the top of Bleara Moor in Earby in top spot in the King of the Mountains competition.

Stage two of the Tour of Britain at Whitewell in the Ribble Valley.  Alex Dowsett for Movistar Team.

Stage two of the Tour of Britain at Whitewell in the Ribble Valley. Alex Dowsett for Movistar Team.

He was excited to be cycling on home territory.

“The course is a hard one but it is one I know well,” said Ian, who rides for team NFTO.

“It’s great that Stage Two has come through East Lancashire. It’s my seventh Tour of Britain so I am now experienced on it. It’s just a superb event and great for me that it’s so close to home.”

Cyclist Ian Wilkinson, from Chatburn, is part of team Raleigh but missed out on the cut to six in a team.

“I would have loved to do it as it goes past my window but it’s a team event. It was great being in Clitheroe at the start and seeing the bunting up and everyone supporting the event - it’s a fabulous opportunity for the area to show off the Ribble Valley and Pendle.

“It’s fantastic - it’s like seeing the World Cup for free. Where else can you get up close to people like Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish and see Olympians and winners of the Tour de France for free? You wouldn’t get anyone near football stars and that’s the big appeal of events like this.”

Head of world cycling Brian Cookson OBE, who lives in Whalley, said; “It’s a great chance to show off the beautiful Lancashire countryside. It was a hard challenging course but it’s great for cycling. More people than ever are riding their bikes, watching or taking part and that shows how popular cycling has become.”