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More than 2,500 riders turn out for Pedal Norfolk 2017 at Holkham Hall

PUBLISHED: 11:40 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:40 29 May 2017

Tom Emerson, four, enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Tom Emerson, four, enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Records crowds turned out for biggest cycling festival in Norfolk over the weekend.

Two-year-old twins Valentina, left, and Clara Lee, on their scooters at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTwo-year-old twins Valentina, left, and Clara Lee, on their scooters at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

More than 2,500 riders took part in the fifth annual Pedal Norfolk at Holkham Hall.

Cyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And a further 9,000 supporters lined the route to show their support.

A cyclist on the mountain bike course at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA cyclist on the mountain bike course at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The fun-filled weekend boasted a number of individual cycling events and activities aimed at all ages and levels of ability - from first timers to more experienced cyclists as well as plenty to entertain spectators of the sport.

A cyclist on the mountain bike course at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA cyclist on the mountain bike course at the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival on the Holkham Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Festival-goers had the opportunity to try a 20, 50 or 100 mile routes, taking in some of the area’s most scenic country and coastal roads.

Cyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Among them was the Earl of Leicester, the custodian of Holkham Hall.

Cyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The sun shone for most of Saturday and Sunday, although competitors had to brave some thundery downpours of rain on the opening day.

Cyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Laurane Herrieven, marketing manager at Holkham, said: “This year is much bigger than before and we had a lot more people pre-register for the event. Last year we had it on an earlier bank holiday and we learnt that it’s not warmed up enough at that time of year so we moved the whole event to this bank holiday and the success has really proven itself.”

Cyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

To mark the end of the first day of the festival there was a competitive British Cycling Road Race with points being earned for this year’s season.

Cyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCyclists enjoying riding around the Holkham Estate for the Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Herrieven said: “The road race was a real spectacle, it was a hardcore cycling competition and it was just phenomenal. They did 11 seven mile laps around the park and just outside it before coming back in.

“It was a phenomenal British cycling race and we don’t see many of those - it was a spectacle to see them with the road cars and the British cycling team.”

But the event was not all about cycling as guests were also invited to also get involved in a wide range of activities and entertainment, including competitions, live music, and even a beer tent.

The cycling festival continues today (Monday), however preparations are already taking place for 2018 when, for the first time next year, a closed-road race will take place starting in front of Holkham Hall and will take serious competitors through some of the park’s key landmarks.

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