Derbyshire and the Peak District National Park will once again serve as a fabulous backdrop for this year’s Tour of Britain cycling spectacular.
Spectators from around the world will be descending on the region to see an array of international stars take on some of the county’s toughest climbs and undulating roads.
The 1,451km, eight-day, stage race started on Sunday, September 6, in Beaumaris, Wales, and will hit the Peak and Derbyshire during Stage 6 from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham on Friday, September 11.
Riders will complete the tour on Stage 8 around London, on Sunday, September 13.
Derbyshire County Council’s deputy cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure Councillor John Owen said: “We’re delighted that the Aviva Tour of Britain will take in so much of Derbyshire.
“We’ve got such a lot to offer cyclists and we hope that many visit us for the Tour and stay for the weekend.”
Those stars expected to take part in the Tour and ride through our patch include former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, of Team Wiggins, the Manx Missile Mark Cavendish, of Etixx Quick-Step, and defending Tour of Britain champion Dylan Van Barle, of Team Cannondale Garmin.
There will be 20 teams but a full list of this year’s Tour riders has not yet been released although regional fans will be checking for the inclusion of NFTO’s Adam Blyth, of Dronfield, Cult Energy Pro Energy’s Russell Downing, of Sheffield, Team Sky’s Ben Swift, of Rotherham, and JLT Condor’s Graham Briggs, of Doncaster.
Race director Mick Bennett said: “This is undoubtedly the strongest line-up of teams to have appeared in the Aviva Tour of Britain. The Tour represents a fantastic opportunity for British fans to see what will be the best line-up of teams and riders to race in the country this year.
“In 2014 we saw Michael Kwiatowski, Sir Bradley Wiggins and the BMC Racing Team all go on to win world titles immediately after the race and we are sure this year’s Tour will provide an equal platform for riders going on to target the world championships.”
The Tour of Britain has previously visited the county since its launch in 2004. As riders reach the 2015 event’s pivotal Stage 6 through Derbyshire, the main contenders will be apparent and they will have everything to ride for.
They will pass through Buxton before heading along a route that comes near Whaley Bridge, New Mills, Chapel-en-le-Frith, the Goyt Valley, Castleton, Hathersage, Grindleford, Bakewell, Beeley Moor, Matlock, Cromford, Belper, and Ilkeston between Heanor and Long Eaton before finishing in Nottingham.
Councillor John Haken, executive councillor for sports and leisure at High Peak Borough Council, said: “The world’s elite cyclists will be coming right to the heart of Buxton before continuing through the High Peak and Derbyshire en route to Nottingham. This is the country’s premier road cycle event attracting the most recognisable faces in the sport so we’re really excited that Buxton has been chosen as the venue for the first sprint finish of the day.
“The Market Place is the ideal place for spectators to enjoy the spectacle of the sprint finish and we’re working on plans to make the whole weekend a celebration of cycling so everyone can share in the excitement and buzz associated with hosting a major sporting event.”
The 192.7km Stage 6 starts about 10.30am, and is expected to pass through the following places at the approximate times: Buxton, 11.35am; Whaley Bridge, 11.49am; Sparrowpit, near Castleton, 12.08pm; Castleton, 12.16pm; Hope, 12.19pm; Bamford, 12.25pm; Hathersage, 12.28pm; Grindleford, 12.38pm; Stoney Middleton, 12.45pm; Wardlow, 12.52pm; Ashford, 1pm; Bakewell, 1.02pm; Pilsley, 1.09pm; Beeley, 1.15pm; Derbyshire Dales, 1.24pm; Cromford Hill, 1.37pm; Middleton, 1.40pm; Belper, 2.11pm; and Ilkeston, 2.30pm, before Nottingham about 2.52pm.