A RIBBLE Valley youngster will fly the flag for the borough when he sends cyclists on their way at the Aviva Tour of Britain with his own design.

Nine-year-old Charlie Birtwistle beat more than 100 other entries from primary school children to win a competition to create a flag to start Stage 2 of the race, which will speed through Ribble Valley and Pendle on Monday, September 7.


The Whalley CE Primary School pupil will be joined by Ribble Valley mayor, Cllr Bridget Hilton, to get the riders underway in Clitheroe town centre.

Thousands of spectators will descend on the area when 20 of the world’s top cycling teams – including Olympic and world champions, and Tour de France stage winners – fight it out over a tough 162km route from Clitheroe to Colne.

Charlie’s winning design features Clitheroe Castle, Pendle Hill, the River Ribble and a witch wearing the Tour of Britain colours of red, white and blue while riding a bike with Union Jack wheels.

He said: “I made a list of all the famous things in Ribble Valley and spent three whole days working on the picture.

“I like cycling and art, and I’m so thrilled to have won the competition. I can’t wait for the race!”

Cllr Hilton said: “The Tour of Britain attracts a huge following, as well as an international television audience, so it’s the ideal showcase for Ribble Valley and Pendle’s many attractions .”

Charlie’s winning design and other entries to the competition will be displayed at the Ribble Valley Borough Council Offices in Church Walk, Clitheroe, from the middle of August.