Blue Peter presenter joins in Tour of Britain celebrations

The Westmorland Gazette: Barney Harwood and coach Charlie Evans at Manchester Velodrome Barney Harwood and coach Charlie Evans at Manchester Velodrome

A BLUE Peter presenter is to take his own cycling challenge on the day of the Tour of Britain.

Over the past twelve weeks, the team at Manchester-based British Cycling has been training up a Barney Harwood for one of the biggest challenges of his life.

Producers at Blue Peter set Barney the task of joining a leg of the Tour of Britain.

And this Monday, he will set off from Carlisle and try to make it across the finish line in Kendal before the elite riders.

The elite riders will follow the 120 mile stage two route, while Barney, accompanied by six young British Cycling riders will cycle a direct route of 55 miles.

Barney urged children in the UK to take up the sport.

"I think every single kid in the UK should have a go at cycling. When you’ve got support from friends and a club that you belong to, it gives you a real purpose and real drive and ambition to do something well.

"It also makes such a massive difference when you’re riding with somebody else, especially the Go-Ride team, who know exactly what they’re doing. They’re incredibly talented, very good at what they do."

Senior Coaching and Education Officer at British Cycling, Charlie Evans, who has been coaching Barney throughout the past three months, said:

 

"We developed a training plan for Barney, which has taken him from a complete beginner to thinking and behaving like a cyclist. Doing all this in twelve weeks was a tall order; there was a lot we had to get through in a short amount of time. One of the biggest challenges for us was fitting training into Barney’s hectic schedule on the programme.

"Barney now looks like a bike rider and he’s talking like a bike rider. On Monday, we’ll find out if he really is a bike rider."

The Blue Peter cycling challenge will air on CBBC on October 3, October 10 and October 17. 

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