Residents are once again being encouraged to line the streets later this week to celebrate some of the world’s best cyclists coming through the Warwick district.
The UK’s biggest and most prestigious international cycling event will be back on our streets this week.
And organisers believe the Warwickshire stage could prove the highlight of the eight-day event.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is returning to the county for the second year in succession in September and will feature the only summit finish in the eight-stage race.
Riders will start in Warwick, go through Kenilworth and many other villages in the Warwick district, before completing two gruelling 12-kilometre circuits around Burton Dassett and Farnborough before crossing the finishing line at the end of 185-kilometre course on the third ascent of the 700-metre climb.
The riders in the OVO Energy Women’sTour recently raced in the county, and their course included the same finish with a spectacular finish won by Kasia Niewiadoma.
Now organisers are refining several aspects of the finishing location as they expect some of the biggest crowds of the week to flock to Burton Dassett location.
Peter Hodges, PR and marketing director of SweetSpot, the company which organises both events, said: “We are really excited about the summit finish at Burton Dassett. It worked very well in June, despite the awful weather, but there are one or two improvements we believe can be made.
“We are now working through those so that we can provide a quite dramatic viewing point which will allow spectators to watch the contenders go past three times.
“We will be working with Warwickshire County Council on traffic and transport arrangements because we would like as many people to be up there as possible, to give the stage the showcase it deserves.
“Summit finishes are always more difficult to stage because there is a great deal of infrastructure that needs to be put in place and they tend to be quite isolated.
Burton Dassett is a great viewing point and we expect it to be one of the highlights of this year’s event.”
Mr Hodges also believes the dramatic nature of this year’s Tour de France will help build numbers for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
“This is widely recognised to be one of the finest Tours de France in the last 30 years or so and that will only heighten interest in our event,” he added.
“We will have several of the leading teams and riders from the Tour taking part in our event and we will be announcing those in the coming weeks.
“The fact that several of the most dramatic stages in the Tour have been summit finishes will only help drive crowds to Burton Dassett.”
The stage on September 13 will start from Warwick Racecourse before heading through the centre of Warwick and the world’s top riders will pass through the University of Warwick, Kenilworth, Meriden – home to the National Cyclists’ Memorial – Atherstone, Bedworth and Wellesbourne.
Riders will climb Sun Rising Hill near Edge Hill before beginning the first of two full loops of a clockwise 12-kilometre finishing circuit around Burton Dassett and Farnborough.
ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights programme covering the best of the action.