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Blue Peter: The Big Bike Challenge

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Published: 21 October 2013

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On this Thursday’s Blue Peter, we find out if presenter Barney Harwood successfully completes his Big Bike Challenge.

Team Blue Peter

Over 12 weeks, the team at British Cycling trained up the presenter for one of the biggest challenges of his life - joining a leg of the Tour of Britain.

On Monday 16 September, Barney set off from Carlisle, with the aim of making it across the finish line in Kendal before the elite riders. The elite riders, led by Sir Bradley Wiggins, followed the 120 mile route, while Barney rode a direct route of 60 miles.

In addition to support from British Cycling coach Charlie Evans, Barney was also paired up with six young riders from British Cycling’s youth development programme, Go-Ride. The cyclists, aged between 14 and 20, trained alongside Barney and rode with him on the day of the challenge as Team Blue Peter.

“I think every single kid in the UK should have a go at cycling. It’s a sport where everybody gets involved and you feel part of a team, which is a great thing to feel."

Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood

This week features the fourth and final part of a series on Blue Peter, which shows Barney’s story from training to challenge. Race day sees Barney, and his team of young riders, take on the daunting cycle race in the wilds of the Cumbrian mountains.

Racing against the clock and the world’s fastest cyclists in the Tour of Britain, battling against ferocious weather conditions and the tough Kirkstone Pass… will the team make it to the finish line in Kendal before the elite riders?

Charlie Evans said: “With the wind and pelting rain, we couldn’t have been set up for a more difficult challenge when it came round to race day. Barney and the team from Go-Ride had put in many dedicated hours of training and preparation, but the question is - just how ready can you be with only 12 weeks of riding?”

Throughout his training, Barney benefited from nutritional advice and physiotherapy from the Great Britain Cycling Team, overcame a knee injury and volunteered at a Go-Ride coaching session.

Barney said: “I think every single kid in the UK should have a go at cycling. It’s a sport where everybody gets involved and you feel part of a team, which is a great thing to feel. When you’ve got support from friends and a club that you belong to, it gives you a real purpose and drive and ambition to do something well.”

Barney added: “I’m buying a bike, so I’m going to carry on cycling. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, because I like cake and movies and sitting down on comfy chairs. Now I’ve got a bike and I genuinely enjoy myself, so I will be keeping it up, definitely.”

The final part of the Blue Peter Big Bike challenge will air on CBBC on 24 October. Tune in at 5.30pm to find out if Team Blue Peter made it to the finish line in Kendal.

British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme is a network of cycling clubs, which provide a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport. For more information, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride.