A six-year-old schoolboy was rubbing shoulders with a four-time Tour de France winner at the weekend.
Sam Radburn, from Hose, started the seventh stage of the Tour of Britain in West Bridgford on Saturday, and whilst there bumped into Chris Froome and other elite cyclists.
Sam, who loves cycling, won a county wide competition at his school in Cropwell Bishop to design a flag.
After securing the highest number of votes from the Nottinghamshire public, his entry was custom-made into an actual flag which he used to launch the race.
His inspirations for the design were his love of cycling and rainbows.
Sam and his parents were treated to VIP treatment, having access to the Tour Breakfast, seeing all the riders arrive before the race.
His dad, Dan, said: “Being so close, Sam got 14 signatures of the top riders on a replica cycling jersey we bought specially for the event.
“Then, just before 10.30am, we moved next to the riders on the start line, and after a countdown Sam waved the peloton off.
“We are both so proud of Sam for being so brave starting the race. As a surprise, we have bought him a bigger bike with gears to replace the one that is now too small for him.”
The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest free-to-attend sporting event. It is watched by a TV audience of millions. The seventh stage was won by Team Sky Ian Stannard.