CYCLING fever was at an all time high as the Tour of Britain visited Cumbria and brought fans young and old to the streets of the Lake District.

The professional cyclists on our own British teams such as Team Sky, Team Wiggins and Dimension Data were up against riders from Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland and America.

The winning cyclist Julien Vermote was part of the break away pack who accelerated ahead through Grasmere and Ambleside and battled it out down to the finish line with British rider Stephen Cummings.

Although the Italian took the yellow jersey for the stage, Cummings made him work until the last moment and did Mark Cavendish's team Dimension Date proud.

Crowds were a bit flummoxed when British hero Sir Bradley Wiggins was nowhere to be seen in the first two packs of cyclists.

The general feeling seemed to be that he had already whizzed past and been missed in the crowd.

However, some people who loitered on the hill out of Ambleside were delighted to see Wiggins toiling up the hill five minutes later, surrounded by his teammates and support cars.

Paul Tyler, of Bluebird Lodge, Coniston, said: "I think Wiggins just got a bit tired, there's talk of him retiring anyway.


"We have had a great day, I rode here on my own bike with my son Mark, we both love cycling.

"Weather aside, the organisation of the event has been spot on and it's great to see the pros in action."

Enthusiasts were easy to spot in their cycling shorts and there was much excited chatter about average speeds and who would be crowned King of the Mountains.

The stretch of the stage called The Struggle began on the road out of Ambleside and the cyclists were in for a good long slog before they reached the finish line in Kendal later that day.

Miriam Porter, of Gable Avenue, Cockermouth, said: "I love to see how the different professional riders tackle the steep hills that we ride every weekend here in Cumbria."

The second stage of the Tour of Britain also brought people to the Lake District from further afield. John Ellison and his son Noah had travelled all the way from Howeth, Yorkshire, to watch the riders pass.

Noah is a junior champion cyclist himself and said: "My favourite rider is Elia Viviani, you could spot him easily today because of his gold boots."

Cavendish wore a white shirt with black sleeves and Wiggins wore a black shirt with red sleeves. They were the riders who drew the crowds but didn't lead during the second stage.

They could possibly just have been very tired after competing all summer in various high profile events such as the Rio Olympics and the Tour de France.