Region waves goodbye to Tour of Britain

'Cav' and 'Wiggo' are now household names. Credit: ITV Border

In Penrith today several hundred people lined the main street, in the rain, for well over an hour, for a glimpse of the riders of the Tour of Britain. They saw them for less than 30 seconds. It was a scene repeated across the region come rain or shine.

"Which one was Wiggo" asked one lady. "I couldn't see his sideburns."

It's largely down to the Tour de France and gold medal winning Bradley Wiggins and his teammate Mark Cavendish that so many people watched the Tour of Britain, as it wound its through southern Scotland and in to Cumbria. They have become household names and the icons of a sport that is rapidly gaining in popularity.

Thoe council officials and tourism bosses responsible for attracting the tour to the region knew it was going to be popular... but perhaps the past 2 days was beyond even their wildest expectations. Mark Cavendish winning both the stages was the cherry on top of their tour cake.

Nobody has been brave enough to even try and guess how many spectators took to the streets over the past 2 days... let alone over the course of the entire tour so far, which started in East Anglia on Sunday. 'Thousands' is the only figure anyone is quoting.

The tour is a long way from finished yet... in fact it's only halfway through. The mass crowds seen in this region are expected everywhere else in the country. The bids are already in to try and attract the tour back to Cumbria and the south of Scotland next year... you would imagine that everywhere else in the country has had the same conversation with the race organisers.