Pedal power to draw tourists

PUBLISHED: 04:56 14 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:08 24 May 2010

TOURISM could be boosted by plans to turn Cheddar into a major centre for cycling fans across the country. This summer the village is set to host the European BMX Racing Championships for the first time, an event which is expected to attract thousands of

TOURISM could be boosted by plans to turn Cheddar into a major centre for cycling fans across the country.This summer the village is set to host the European BMX Racing Championships for the first time, an event which is expected to attract thousands of riders and fans.Somerset County Council hopes the event could become a regular fixture and plans to attract other major cycling events to the village.The authority is currently seeking sponsors to help bring the world-famous Tour of Britain professional cycle race to the county from 2007.It hopes scenic attractions such as Cheddar Gorge could encourage race organisers to take up their bid.The BMX championships will be held at Broadway House Holiday Park in Axbridge Road from July 7-9. Organisers hope to hold a 'cycle week' leading up to the event, with family activities and workshops including an 'off-road mountain bike Mendip safari'.Broadway House also hosts the longest-running mountain bike 'classic' this summer, the Cheddar Challenge, which started 17 years ago and is the climax to the mountain biking season.Somerset councillor Paul Buchanan, portfolio holder for economic development, said: "These events are a great way of generating more interest in Somerset and Cheddar and will make the area a major centre for British cycling."The route we decide upon for the Tour of Britain will showcase the county to an international audience and the resulting sports tourism will bring many economic and leisure benefits."Somerset County Council is keen to support events like this which bring multiple benefits to the community, particularly in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

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