A FORMER national champion has completed the entire Pershore stage route of a national cycle race on a Penny Farthing.

Ahead of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s Pershore stage Dave Preece, the 2014 British Open Penny Farthing racing champion, tackled the 14.4-kilometre (8.9-mile) route.

The individual time trial stage will welcome the world’s best riders on Thursday, September 12.

Pershore resident Mr Preece completed the stage in 40 minutes and 24 seconds at an average speed of 21.4kph (13.3mph). It is expected that the Tour of Britain stage winner will post a time of approximately 20 minutes.

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“I’m so pleased that my home town of Pershore hosts the race’s individual time trial stage,” he said.

“Like many people who will be watching this year’s tour I was keen to ride the course to see how I matched up to the professionals. The course will provide some great racing. It has a few short, sharp climbs; some technical turns, and what will be a very fast last mile coming back down the hill into Pershore.

“I enjoyed my lap but it was tough going.

"The short climb out of Pershore is quite steep and it was only just rideable. The middle section of the course was better and almost perfect for the Penny Farthing. I made good progress here and had great views over the hedgerows from my elevated riding position.

“Heading back towards Pershore is harder than it looks – it is quite exposed to winds. The town centre has a 20mph speed limit: I didn’t hit it but the pros will easily be doing double that.”

Stage six starts from Pershore’s Broad Street, with riders passing through Little Comberton and Bricklehampton during a scenic anti-clockwise before finishing along the market town’s High Street. For more details visit tourofbritain.co.uk.

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