The countdown is underway as the final stage of the Tour of Britain prepares to make its way to Manchester.
For only the second time in its modern history, the tour will be making its way to Greater Manchester, with the final stage of the final day of the event concluding in the iconic Deansgate.
On September 14 the riders will set off from Altrincham at 11am on a route that will take them across Greater Manchester. During the final push, riders will be expected to arrive in the city centre shortly after 3pm.
The Tour will bring together some of the most well-known names in world cycling, and this opportunity for Mancunians to watch them in action is not one to be missed. The final number of riders has not been confirmed but close to 200 are expected to compete this year.
There will also be a cohort of riders who trace their roots back to Greater Manchester, making this stage even more special as a homecoming for them. They include Adam Blythe from team Lotto Soudal of Wilmslow, Owain Doull, Team INEOS who lives in Manchester, and Jacob Scott, Swift Carbon Pro Cycling of Oldham.
While the city centre of Manchester will provide the finale, the beautiful market town of Altrincham, in the borough of Trafford, will take centre stage on the morning of the 14th, acting as the starting point for the final stage of the Tour.
The peloton will then make its way through every one of Greater Manchester’s 10 constituent boroughs before making its finish in the centre of Manchester.
Over the course of the route cyclists will ride 165km over an incredibly varied course, from city centre streets to the stunning hills and valleys that surround Greater Manchester.
Three sprint sections and three King of the Mountain stages will make sure spectators will be kept on their toes as the riders tear through the countryside at breakneck speed, or dig deep over the more than 2,000m of climbing that will have to be conquered.
As well as watching the race itself, the Tour’s organisers have called for the public to share their excitement for the race by more artistic means. They have challenged people along the race’s route to design land art, that will be seen from their air during the TV broadcast of the event. The more creative the better!
Last year a group of farmers in Devon were named the winners thanks to their incredible installation of a super-sized bike which featured dozens of farm vehicles and movable wheels, chain and pedals.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure for Manchester City Council, said:
“To have such an illustrious sporting event finish in Manchester, the home of British Cycling is a truly special occasion. It will be a sight to see the riders coming down Deansgate, the home of some of Manchester’s most well-known landmarks, and I hope the public will enjoy what will no doubt be a very exciting day.”
“Cycling has made such a huge mark on this city so it is a wonderful thing that Manchester will see the conclusion of this year’s tour. For so many thousands of people to see these top-class athletes up close will be an amazing experience, and may well inspire the young people of Manchester into becoming the next Bradley Wiggins or Laura Kenny.”
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said:
“Being given the chance to host the final stage of such a prestigious event represents yet another major coup for Trafford and we hope to give people in the borough many more opportunities to watch similar events on their doorstep in the future.
“Our reputation as a venue for staging top-class sport is now well-established. We have the facilities to stage them.”
To facilitate the race there will be a series of road closures imposed throughout the day.
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Also published on Medium.