Hundreds of fans came along the Strickland Arms in Great Strickland on Tuesday 11 September to see Team Sky present the landlords with a special prize for winning our recent Vive le Tour competition.
Every member of Team Sky’s Tour of Britain squad made the trip to the cycle-friendly pub near Penrith in Cumbria after helping Mark Cavendish seal a tremendous sprint victory in Dumfries.
As the team bus entered the car park, they were met by an overwhelming reception and spent the next three hours mingling with all those in attendance after Bradley Wiggins had awarded Anton and Penny Flaherty with a signed yellow jersey from his recent Tour de France success.
As well as signing countless other items for the fans, the team were treated to a slap-up meal in the pub’s restaurant and also took time out to chat to the local media.
Wiggins was suitably impressed by the night’s activities, and said: “To get a reception like that in such a small village was mad and we were all blown away by it.
“It was great to meet all the people, because they’ve been fantastic, and I think it’s shown that what we’ve done at the Tour – and what Great Britain did at the Olympics - has captured the nation’s attention.”
Mark Cavendish added: "To think we have come to a village like this and so many people are supporting it, is great.
“Who would have thought that this many people would be excited about cycling? But we've come here up north where everybody's friendly."
The visit was reward was for the Strickland Arms winning our Vive le Tour contest which ran over the final two weekends of the Tour de France and involved 11 pubs across the UK pitting their wits against each other to see who could get most into the spirit of the race, offer their support to Team Sky, and encourage their local community to embrace the world's biggest bike race.
The Strickland Arms came out on top by covering their building in Vive le Tour bunting, water bottles and beer-mats, and also organised a series of local bike rides to and from the pub.
If that wasn’t enough, they also held a charity raffle to win a 'Bradley the Bear' giant stuffed toy, had the local ice-cream van sell Tour themed ice-creams, and even added some French dishes to their menu.
Those initiatives created a fantastic atmosphere over the weekends and saw them edge out some tough competition from the 10 other pubs who entered.
You can check out the gallery from our visit by clicking HERE