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National Farmer’s Union wanted to show support for the race

Stage four of this year’s Tour of Britain saw one of the finer examples of roadside bicycle art. One of the Nottinghamshire farmers responsible for the memorable ‘sheep bike’ has now let us in on his secret: bribery with sheep nuts.

Farming UK reports that Coddington farmer Des Alan created the sheep bike with help from the National Farmer’s Union’s county advisor, Andy Guy, and fellow farmer, Chris Wray.

Guy said: “We wanted farming to be involved in the Tour of Britain and scratched our heads about what would work. September is an incredibly busy time of year for farmers, but we’ve persuaded some of them to join in and show our industry’s support for the cycle race.

“Des came up with the brilliant idea to lay out the shape of a bicycle in sheep feed. He knew he could train the sheep to follow him – they’re notoriously fond of sheep nuts and will do most things for a nibble.”

Guy then fulfilled his brief by getting the obligatory farming-cycling association in quite beautifully.

“Nottinghamshire’s farmers are busy all year round producing great food for the nation, and cyclists know the benefits of a healthy diet.

“They’ll be choosing milk as a re-hydration aid, fruit and vegetables for a healthy digestion and protein-full meat and pulses for muscle growth. So it’s natural and right that our farming industry supports the cyclists racing past Nottinghamshire’s farms and fields.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.