Image courtesy of SWpix.com
as Stockport continues to celebrate being Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture.
The first stage of the cycle race takes place in Greater Manchester between September 3 and September 10. The first stage, also known as the ‘Grand Départ’, is between Altrincham and Manchester, taking in all of the boroughs of Greater Manchester, with some of the top teams competing.
In Stockport, the route arrives in the borough from Cheshire East at Wilmslow Road, at approximately 11:30 am. The riders will build to a sprint on Jacksons Lane past the Life Leisure Hub in Hazel Grove before leaving the borough at Marple and continuing onto Tameside. To view the route visit https://gpx2kml.com/map/pugan10w9
The Tour of Britain operates a ‘rolling road closure’ system rather than a full road closure to minimise disruption to the local community as much as possible. Therefore, the majority of the roads will only be closed for a short window (approximately 30 minutes), while the race passes through. Where the race passes along Wybersley Road, Ridge Road and Cowlishaw Road, these roads will be closed to non-residents before the event and reopen shortly afterwards. Residents along the route who park their vehicles on the street have been asked to find alternative parking on the morning of the event and no waiting cones will be placed along the route at specific points.
As we continue celebrating movement and cycling, we will host two Town of Culture community events at Torkington Park near the Buxton Road entrance and Life Leisure, Hazel Grove Hub.
At Torkington Park, you can get your bike a free MOT with ‘Dr Bike’ as well as cycling accessories, active travel information and information about cycling in the borough. There will be fun activities at the Hazel Grove Hub, including a spin bike competition to see how you compare to the race sprint. There will be a chance to try out one of Seashell Trust’s Adapted Bikes in the car park, and it is a prime spot to watch the racers sprint as they pass by.
Also, at the Life Leisure Hazel Grove Hub, a spectacular piece of land art will be on display, an entry into the national competition. R Time Stockport community and youth groups will work with local artist Helen Middleton to make the piece, made entirely from repurposed cardboard boxes donated by Tesco Stockport.
The Land Art is titled ‘Hats off to Alan Newton’ in honour of Stockport cyclist Alan Newton, who represented his native country at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki and won a bronze medal in the men’s 4000 team pursuit. Around the circle will be six bikes representing the colours of the Tour of Britain jerseys. To add a fun element to the piece, top hats and cycling caps are riding the bikes instead of people to represent the rich history of Hat making in Stockport.
Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport, said: “Residents can watch all the action and soak up the atmosphere by the roadside for free.”
“The Tour of Britain truly is a fantastic and exciting sporting spectacle, and we hope it will inspire the people of Stockport to get on their bikes and take advantage of the great cycling facilities and routes we have in the borough.”
Since 2016, the race has been watched by an average of 1.3m roadside spectators. It has generated £27.6m of yearly net economic benefit for the UK economy, according to research by Frontline. With £3.8m being generated for the Greater Manchester area when the region hosted the race previously in 2019.
Former Tour of Britain champions Wout van Aert and Gonzalo Serrano, are confirmed to start the race. Having wowed the British crowds by taking four stages en route to overall victory two years ago, van Aert’s return headlines the provisional start list.
Alongside these riders is home fan favourite Tom Pidcock. Further home interest comes in the form of Jacob Scott (Bolton Equities Black Spoke), the Pinarello king of the mountains competition winner in 2019 and 2021; newly-crowned track world champion Ethan Vernon (Great Britain), Tour de Yorkshire stage winner Harry Tanfield (TDT – Unibet Cycling Team); and Stevie Williams (Great Britain), who won a stage and the general classification at the recent Arctic Race of Norway.
For information go to tourofbritain.co.uk