Eroica success after hard work and luck

Eroica Brittannia bike show at Bakewell
Eroica Brittannia bike show at Bakewell

A vintage cycling festival has been hailed a success after attracting a record 50,000 people in only its third year.

Eroica Britannia went ahead despite 10 days of downpours which left sodden ground that was tackled with 200,000 tonnes of woodchip and emergency drainage, costing £25,000.

Luckily, the event on Bakewell Showground stayed dry throughout Saturday and Sunday, until tea-time. It allowed activities - including three rides by 4,500 cyclists from 24 countries - to take place as planned.

It is expected to have an economic impact of more than £3.5million.

Nick Cotton, one of the founding partners, said: “Despite the unseasonal conditions leading up to and during the event, we enjoyed a three-day celebration of all things Great British.

“It takes 12 months to organise and we have worked tirelessly to put it on.”

Eroica has expanded rapidly since its first year in 2014. The festival is known as ‘the world’s most handsome bike ride’ – participants use pre-1987 bicycles and shun modern clothing such as lycra.

It was imported from Italy – where L’Eroica events have run for 45 years – by Nick and four friends after they took part. They negotiated a licence which has eight years left to run.