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    [HOME] -> [Culture News]
    Invasion of motorcyclists takes over the most tranquil corner of the British Isles
    English.news.cn 2015-06-02 11:40:10
    An invasion of motorcyclists from across Europe streamed onto the tiny island of the Isle of Man on Monday. Their aim, to experience what has been described as the greatest motorcycling festival in the world: the famous TT.

    More than 43,000 spectators, many travelling on their own motorcycles, swelled the island's population of 85,000 by 50 percent. Income from the event earns millions of dollars a year for the island's tourism trade.

    The island's government closes 60 km of public roads to create a race track where drivers can go up to 320 km per hour.

    Mountain passes, hairpin turns, and narrow roads are all included in a route that dates back to when racing started on the island more than 100 years ago. Over those years, almost 250 racers have been killed. A number of race officials and spectators have also lost their lives during the TT event.

    The thrill of the event, however, has never deterred competitors from taking part, though course officials continually seek ways of making the event safer.

    The island lies half way between England and Ireland in the Irish Sea and ferry crossings from the English and Irish seaports - mainly Liverpool and Dublin - are crowded for the annual pilgrimage to the TT.

    Practice sessions along the route continued today in preparation for the competitive races which start June 6 and last until June 12.

    Trevor Hussey, the government's head of motor sport told Xinhua: "The TT is the island's biggest single event, transforming for two weeks the lovely pace of life on the island, which is quite slow, to a hectic hub. The event is now a firm part of our culture and tradition. Islanders are now very accustomed to hosting the TT. Competitors and spectators from across the world now come here for the event," he said, citing Australia and the United States as well as mainland Europe as places visitors travel from.

    "It is particularly popular with motorcyclists from Germany," he added. "Today I am hosting a group from China who have travelled to the Isle of Man to watch the racing. They are a business delegation who want to learn more about the event," he said.

    The smell of burnt fuel and the mighty roar of cycle engines will dominate the island for almost two weeks. Then, the Isle of Man will revert to the peace and tranquillity for which it is noted...until the next racing event.
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