A sculpture of a cyclist to commemorate Newark and Sherwood hosting the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain has been formally launched.
The piece of art, constructed from recycled bicycle parts donated by the general public and designed by sculptor Phil Neal, has taken pride of place in Newark’s Sconce and Devon Park – close to the stage four finish of the Tour which took place last Wednesday.
The chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Councillor Linda Tift, performed the honours shortly before the day’s race came to a conclusion.
The sculpture, which is five metres high and is positioned close to the play park, was commissioned by the district council and sponsored by Urban&Civic – the developers of Newark’s urban extension Middlebeck . It is set against a backdrop of trees and shrubs in the corner of the existing children’s playground.
Painted in saffron yellow, the adopted colour for the Nottinghamshire Stage 4 Race, it stands above the ground on a green powder-coated plinth that creates the impression of a ’floating’ yellow bike during the summer period while remaining easily distinguishable during the dark winter months. A dedication plaque on the playground fence explains its significance.
Councillor Tift said: “It was wonderful to host the Tour of Britain in our own district and this excellent sculpture is a fitting way to remember what a fabulous day our residents and many communities enjoyed. We can take pride in the way we welcomed this exciting sporting spectacle.”
Matt Croft, project manager for Urban&Civic, said: “We were very keen to support the town’s hosting of the Tour of Britain. As well as much-needed new homes, cycling and dedicated cycleways, parks and outdoor living all play a key role in the community we are creating at Middlebeck.
“This sculpture demonstrates our commitment to Newark, providing a permanent link to our focus, and familiarising local people with the name of its newest neighbourhood, Middlebeck.”
Large parts of the district featured in the 165km route, with the start in neighbouring Mansfield, before 120 or so of some of the world’s top cyclists raced through the west of the district of Newark and Sherwood, Edwinstowe, Southwell and Sherwood Forest, looping north into Bassetlaw.
The competitors later pedalled past the Trent villages dotted along the A1133 before moving eastwards into Lincolnshire and then back into Nottinghamshire via Coddington. They arrived in Newark on Beacon Hill Road before venturing via Sleaford Road, Castle Gate, Lombard Street and then on to Farndon Road for the grandstand finish outside Sconce and Devon Park.