Bourne CiCLE Festival has been hailed an outstanding success by organisers South Kesteven District Council.
With elite men’s and women’s road races, an amateur riders’ sportive and a women’s team time trial, the district’s first ever cycling festival drew cheering crowds in Bourne and spectators across the district.
Town shops were decorated yellow, groups ran fund-raising activities throughout the weekend and The Wellhead staged a full programme of entertainment.
Bourne Wheelers cyclist Sian Botteley, prevented from riding by a collarbone injury, provided a professional eye on the race.
Her Bourne CiCLE Festival social media feed from the lead race car detailed every twist, turn and development in both the women’s and men’s elite races.
A live race commentary drew 550 listeners for Saturday’s top race and more than 800 on Sunday.
There was so nearly a fairy tale ending in the men’s elite race for Bourne professional rider Ali Slater.
A graduate of the Bourne Wheelers club and riding on Sunday alongside Olympic triple gold medallist Ed Clancy with Vitus Pro Cycling, Ali was in the leading group as the race drew to a close, eventually finishing third.
“It’s been a mega event and just brilliant to see it in my home town,” he said. “Next year let’s see if I can go two better.”
Spectators lined the routes, enjoying picnics and BBQs as they cheered riders through.
SKDC Cabinet member for growth Cllr Helen Goral said; “We had high expectations for this event and even they were exceeded.
“I spoke to residents, businesses and visitors in Bourne over the weekend and they were all so enthusiastic and appreciative of the whole event. The atmosphere was amazing and I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make it such a success.”
Andrew Norman, head of Visitor Economy for InvestSK said: “It’s been the most incredible weekend and the feedback we have received is incredibly positive. All too often you hear criticism levelled at local authorities and it’s very rewarding to receive such positive comments.
“This festival has been brought together, planned and executed by an outstanding team from SKDC, InvestSK and all those who stepped up to help.
“This was a highly complex event involving police, highways and a multitude of other local organisations, racing professionals and volunteers who came together on Saturday morning and delivered a near faultless event. It was nothing short of extraordinary.
“Typical of the online comments received was one from Pickworth, saying “As long serving residents of Pickworth we would like to thank you all for the spectacular cycle race you ran through our village yesterday. May it be the first of many. Why should Yorkshire have it all!!!”