Pendle Hill’s giant cyclist to remain in place until the weekend
A giant cyclist constructed from 1,500 metres of horticultural fleece is to be kept in-situ on Pendle Hill for a further week.
The cyclist - the size of one-and-a-half football pitches – was commissioned by Ribble Valley Borough Council to commemorate Stage 2 of the 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain, which it co-hosted with Pendle Council.
The cyclist, created by celebrated land artist Philippe Handford in the style of the famous Uffington White Horse, was pointing towards the Nick o’ Pendle overlooking Clitheroe, Stage 2’s first King of the Mountain climb.
The cyclist created a stir on social media when construction began on Saturday and by Sunday crowds had gathered to watch Philippe and his eight-strong team put the finishing touches to the installation.
The cyclist was due to be dismantled the day after the top race, which attracted 20,000 spectators to Clitheroe town centre and at least 4,000 to the Nick o’ Pendle, but due to popular demand is to be left in-situ for a further week.
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “The borough was resplendent with artistic endeavours of all kinds celebrating the Tour of Britain,
particularly by schools, but the giant cyclist on Pendle Hill created the biggest buzz.
“I would like to thank Philippe and his team for creating a truly stand-out feature of what was a fantastic event for residents and spectators like, and I am delighted that it is to be left in-situ for a further week.”
It took Philippe and his team five days to construct the giant cyclist from six 250m rolls of horticultural fleece normally used by farmers to protect land and crops from frost.
Philippe, whose former works include a massive 1612 on the Barley side of Pendle Hill during the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witches, added: “This is one of the largest installations I have ever undertaken and draws inspiration from the Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric figure on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in Oxfordshire that is considered a masterpiece of minimalist art.
“I am delighted that the giant cyclist has been so well received and weather permitting will be leaving it in-situ for at least a few more days.”
Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain saw the world’s top cyclists, among them Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, power through 154km of Ribble Valley and Pendle on Monday.
The stage was won by 23-year-old Czech Petr Vakoc of Etixx-Quick Step.