CYCLING fans won’t have to travel to the South of France to see the likes of Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins in action this year – instead they can just head down to Merrywalks.
The route for the Tour of Britain was announced this week, and this year some of the world’s top cyclists will be speeding through Stroud.
It is the first tour since the race was upgraded to 2.HC status and will include first time visits to both Bristol and Brighton, as well as a summit finish on The Tumble in South Wales.
The organisers of the race, which sees riders race across the country for a week in eight stages, announced that the route of stage four, from Worcester to Bristol on Wednesday, September 10, will bring the riders through Stroud.
Although specific details of the route are not yet available, the map of the stage shows the route running through Evesham, making a loop through the Cotswolds, before heading through Cheltenham to Stroud before the day’s racing ends in Bristol.
Race Director Mick Bennett said: “The route will again showcase some fantastic scenery, and combine major British cities with charming and picturesque towns and villages, as well as testing climbs, all of which will make for a memorable tour.”
British Cycling’s cycle sport director Jonny Clay said: “This year’s Tour of Britain is set to be the biggest and best yet.
“It will not only deliver on every level for cycling fans, giving them the opportunity to see the best teams and riders in the world competing on their door step but it is also a great day out for people of all ages.
“Watching the race from the roadside is free, allowing thousands of spectators to get caught up in the excitement of the event passing through their city, town or village.”
For the first time since 2008 Liverpool will host the tour while the final stage will take place in London.
An 18-team line up is planned for the tour and so far nine top level teams have confirmed they will be joining a Great Britian national squad in the race for the coveted yellow jersey.
Go to tourofbritain.co.uk for more information.