Date: 
Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 15:15

Around 1,000 cyclists took part today (Sunday) in the Eden Classic, Cornwall's biggest bike event.

The mass-participation sportive is now in its third year and starts and ends in front of the famous Biomes.

Bright sunshine welcomed cyclists coming in from as far afield as Belgium, London, Birmingham, Essex and the Isle of Wight before they set off on the spectacular and challenging route through some of the most scenic spots on the south Cornwall coast.

Riders were on a choice of three routes, 35, 62 and 100 miles, with food stops along the way at the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Jubilee Inn in Pelynt.

By the finish, riders on the two longer routes would have climbed higher than the summit of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.

Turning heads at the start were bamboo bikes made at Eden in the days before the event in a workshop led by the Bamboo Bicycle Club of Hackney, London.

A 20-strong team from Devon and Cornwall Police, including Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, rode the 62-mile route.

Of all the riders, first across the line was Steve Clark, 34, from nearby Luxulyan who completed the 35-mile route in a time of one hour, 55 minutes and 26 seconds.

This was the second year Steve has been the first to finish and the fastest time in which he’s completed the course, a great achievement for someone who has only been seriously cycling for just over a year.

Even though the ride is not a race, Steve was happy to finish first. He said: "I wasn't really aiming to be first back. Last year my aim was just to have a good ride and get back but this year I wanted to beat my 2016 time.”

Pete Hicks from the Isles of Scilly was the first to finish the longest route, with a time of five hours, 29 minutes and 49 seconds.

Emma Halliday, Eden’s Events Manager, said: "It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and we're very proud to say that we’ve had our best-ever turnout.

“It's heartening to see so many people getting out and cycling together, sharing in the wonderful scenery of the Cornish south coast. Well done to everyone who took part."

Supporters of the cyclists were allowed free entry to Eden and Heligan.

At Eden, as well as cheering the riders, they were treated to BMX workshops and demonstrations by record-breaking rider Matti Hemmings and balance bike-riding with Aggie Cycles from St Agnes.

A video of aerial footage shot of riders ascending out of the Eden Project and along the edge of the beach at Portmellon near Mevagissey can be seen at www.facebook.com/theedenproject/videos/10154262308746853/.

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