South West News

Eden Classic Prize is a Dream Come True

A super-keen cyclist could not believe his eyes when he read a phone message telling him he had won his dream bike in a prize draw.

Bryan Smith from North Tawton, Devon, was doing a major repair on his six-year-old Specialized Roubaix road bike when he saw that he had won a 2020 version worth £2,600 in a competition promoting the Eden Classic bike ride.

Exeter University lecturer Bryan said: “I was working on my old bike in the garage when the message came through. I thought it was a joke at first. Then when I realised I really had won I was so happy I was nearly in tears.

“I had been looking at bikes and this is exactly the bike I would have bought if I’d won the Lottery. I’m so thrilled to have won and I can’t wait to take it out on the road.”

Bryan entered the prize draw by signing up early for the Eden Project’s mass participation ride which takes place on Sunday May 17.

Eden teamed up with Clive Mitchell Cycles of Cornwall to offer the prize. Bryan called at the Clive Mitchell store just off the A30 for a bike fitting after collecting the sleek black cycle from Eden’s Event Manager Emma Halliday.

Bryan has signed up for the Eden Classic 100-mile route and his wife Jo has entered the 36-mile version. There is also a 60-mile route. All three routes start and finish at Eden and take in some of the most scenic coastal and countryside roads in the country.

The annual sportive is being staged for the sixth time and regularly attracts around 1,000 riders, making it Cornwall’s biggest cycling event.

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Among the participants in the 2019 event was Wendy Houvenaghel, three times World cycling champion and Olympic silver medallist. Wendy said: “The venue is spectacular; the courses are challenging yet scenic with clear signage. The sportive was extremely well organised.”

Cyclists start the day at Eden with a pre-cycle breakfast, with muesli, porridge and bananas on offer. On completion they can top up their calories with a pasty. All food is free with entry to the Eden Classic.

All the courses take in a food and drink stop at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, arguably the finest feed station anywhere in the cycling world.

Family and friends wishing to cheer on the riders get free entry to the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan all weekend.

The Eden Classic is the first of two big cycling events at the home of the famous Biomes this year, with the Tour of Britain taking place on Sunday September 6.

Elite cyclists will race from Penzance to Bodmin, going around Eden in the later stages.

Organisers say the Tour of Britain will give a massive boost to Cornwall’s economy. Independent economic reports estimate that it will generate more than £3 million of extra spending within Cornwall over the stage.

It is hoped that around 180,000 people will line the roads to watch. The event is shown live on ITV4 and Eurosport as well as being broadcast in 190 countries worldwide.