THOUSANDS of cyclists jumped on their bikes and took to Teignbridge’s streets as this year’s Dartmoor Classic Sportive got underway.
Some 4,000 riders embarked on the gruelling challenge which started at Newton Abbot Racecourse on Sunday morning.
Participants – tasked with 107, 67 or 35-mile routes – set off from the sports venue and made their way across Dartmoor before heading back to the racetrack.
Cyclists left Newton Abbot, headed towards Lustleigh before hitting Ashburton and then making their way across the national park to Dunsford and dropping back to Newton.
Two of the many brave riders were Paul Savva and Tim Cude who work at Savs Barbers in Kingsteignton.
The duo – who took part in the 67-mile course – managed to bag gold medals after crossing the finish line just minutes shy of the deadline.
Both were determined to get gold by finishing in four hours and 30 minutes with Paul completing the ride in fourhours 25 and Tim in four hours 29.
Paul explained: ‘Once we got to Princetown – the half way point – in two hours 25min we knew we were in with a chance.
‘Severe cramp got the better of me going up towards Doccombe Hill and Tim also suffered chronic back ache on the same stretch, but we made it!’
The pair of barbers took part in the event to raise money for Rowcroft Hospice – a charity Tim holds close to his heart as it cared for his mum and aunt.
Paul added: ‘It was such a fantastic overwhelming occasion with such wonderful people. Our customers at Savs Barbers, friends and family have been absolutely amazing with their support and generous donations. We felt that we also owed them a gold medal to bring home.’
All of the cash raised by Paul and Tim is still being counted. They are expected to find out the grand total next week.
A spokesman for the Dartmoor Classic Sportive said: ‘The event went really well. We didn’t have any complaints or serious injuries. It was a really successful day.
‘The weather could’ve been a little bit better, but it didn’t stop play.’