BRADLEY Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and the rest of Britain’s road-cycling superstars could be speeding through Stroud when the Tour of Britain comes to town.
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 September 10, will bring the peloton through the town
Although specific details of the route are not yet available, the map of the stage shows the route running through Broadway, making a loop through the Cotswolds before heading to Cheltenham and then to Stroud before the day’s racing ends in Bristol.
And the profile of the route shows that the Cotswold hills are one reason why the organisers have come to the area.
Chief Executive of the Sweetspot, the company that organises the tour, Hugh Roberts said: “We wanted to come to Gloucestershire for the hills so they can hurt the riders a little bit and break the race up.
And there’s some glorious countryside around there, which we’d love to show the world.”
And as well as some of the world’s best riders taking part, much of the cycling world will be watching as the riders race through the Gloucestershire countryside.
“2014’s edition of the race which was resurrected in 2004 after a five year hiatus is the first after it has been upgraded to by governing body the UCI, putting it in the second flight of races, behind The Tour de France and one-day classics like Paris-Roubaix.
This means that more of the top-flight teams will be taking part and the timing of the tour, in early September, means that stars like Fabian Cancellara or Peter Sagan might want to use the race as a warm-up for the World Championship Road race to be held in Spain later in the month.
Not that there has been any difficulty in getting British stars along. Tour de France winner and multiple Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins is the defending champion and sprinter and former World Champion Mark Cavendish has won three stages each in 2013 and 2012 and two in 2011.
Chris Hart is the owner of Noah’s Ark cycle shop in Brimscombe.
He said: “We think it;’s brilliant news it’s very exciting.
And we’re hoping it might make them fix the roads around here. It’s quite difficult to ride a specialist racing bike when the roads are so bad as you get impact punctures and if you’ve got expensive wheels and tyres you don’t want to do that.”
Chris saidthat the arrival of the race and some of the world’s best riders had been the topic of conversation in the shop. he said: “There’s 12 of us here, we’re quite a big shop and while we’ll have the shop open, some of the staff will sneak off to watch it I’m sure, I don’t think we’ll be very busy when the race is going right through.
“Perhaps we’ll join in and overtake them all.”