Young Mansfield designers win Tour of Britain competition

Winners of the Tour of Britain poster competition Saffron Keegan, six and Connor Chidlow, six
Winners of the Tour of Britain poster competition Saffron Keegan, six and Connor Chidlow, six

Two budding cyclists from Mansfield have won a competition to design a starting flag and the trophy for the Nottinghamshire leg of the Tour of Britain.

Two six-year-old Mansfield pupils are set to wave the flag that will start next month’s Tour of Britain cycle race and present the winner’s trophy – after their designs were voted Nottinghamshire’s favourites.

Connor Chidlow and Saffron Keagan were picked from more than 1,200 entries in the competition organised by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Both are pupils at Mansfield’s St Phillip Neri primary school, which is on the main race route.

Their winning entries are being custom-made into the official flag and trophy that will start and finish the epic165-km stage – set to be seen by millions of TV viewers – when it comes to Nottinghamshire on Wednesday 6 September.

Saffron will wave off some of the world’s top cyclists with her winning flag in her Mansfield home town, with Connor ready to help bring the race to a thrilling close when he presents his designed trophy to the stage winner in Newark.

The county-wide Tour of Britain schools competition to find Notts best flag and trophy attracted more than 1,200 votes and 750 entries, with more than a third of the votes (401) going to Connor Chidlow for his trophy design and 454 votes to Saffron Kegan for her flag.

Connor’s mum, Lisa Chidlow, described how her sports-mad son couldn’t wait to enter the competition once he heard about it. she said: “Connor’s not normally too bothered about colouring in and drawing – but when saw what the prize was he was determined he wanted to enter and win it. He lined up all his felt tips and thought carefully about how he wanted it to look – he refused to take any advice from me! He wanted it to be a simple design as he knew that’s what trophies normally look like.

“The whole family are so proud of him as it shows what a determined boy is he. We both can’t wait for the moment he’ll get to present the trophy – it’ll be something he’ll remember for the rest of his life. “

Saffron’s mum, Lisa Cranston, said: “It’s just brilliant, we are thrilled to bits.

“The whole school will be watching the race as it goes by the school gates, but I know Saffron will be looking forward to the day even more knowing that her flag will be waving off all those riders – and will seen by millions of people watching the race from all over the world.“Saffron watched the tour De France with her dad so she knows all about the yellow jerseyfor the lead rider and incorporated it into her design.”

In addition to their main prize, Saffron, Connor and their fellow year two pupils will benefit from a special ‘Learn to Ride’ session when Via East Midland’s bikeability cycle team, who work on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council.

Mansfield will host the start of the Nottinghamshire stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race.

It will be the first time that Nottinghamshire, which is the only county in the Midlands to host one of the eight stages, has hosted an entire leg. Wednesday September 6 will see 120 of the world’s top cyclists racing a 175-kilometre stage from Mansfield to Newark. Councillor Kay Cutts leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “The eyes of the world are set to be on Nottinghamshire on 6 September and is set to be a great day for our county “I look forward to the route being packed with bunting, colourful displays and lots of people as we all cheer on the competitors - and of course look out for young Connor and Saffron when their special moment is captured on TV.”