Cheshire East Council is asking residents to spectate cycling safely ahead of the Tour of Britain race, which returns to the borough for the first time since 2016.
Riders, including sprinter Mark Cavendish and Belgian Olympian Wout van Aert, will begin Stage Five of the Tour of Britain on Thursday 9th September at the Alderley Park life sciences complex, before taking in a 95 mile route across Cheshire, including gruelling climbs in the Peak District National Park, before finishing in Warrington.
With crowds anticipated along the roadside, particularly at the mountain climbs and sprint sections, the council is encouraging spectators to enjoy it safely, including spectating from quieter stretches of the route due to the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Peter Skates, Cheshire East Council’s director of growth and enterprise, said:
“The Tour of Britain is a prestigious cycle race, and we know that many people will be excited to see it return to Cheshire East and to watch as it passes through many of our towns and villages.
“Cycling’s greatest sprinter of all time, Mark Cavendish, has been confirmed as the first rider for this year’s event, along with Tokyo 2020 Olympic medallist Wout van Aert, from Belgium. Both will be a big draw for the crowds. But while most of the government’s Covid-19 restrictions have now been lifted, we must remain cautious. We want people – both our residents and visitors to the borough – to remember this year’s race for all the right reasons.”
Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said:
“Positive Covid-19 cases have increased slightly in the borough and we all need to continue to remain cautious for the foreseeable future.
“It’s important to keep following our Covid-19 advice and guidance. Remember, keeping Covid rates down and protecting each other is in our own hands.”
There are also details of the riders announced so far and a stage five timetable, giving estimated times for when the race is expected to pass through each area. Dr Tyrer added:
We of course want people to enjoy the return of Tour of Britain to Cheshire East and understand that many will want to head to the sprint and hill climb sections of the route.
“But for those who wish to watch the spectacle without the worry of large crowds, and to be able to keep their distance from others more easily, there are many places along the route to be able to do just that.
“Before people do venture out, I strongly advise them to take a lateral flow test – using either the free home test kits, or by visiting a symptom-free testing centre – to help prevent the spread of the virus and to keep others safe.”
Rolling road closures will be in place during the race and will be managed by the tour organisers. The council will be communicating information and advice regarding this in advance of 9 September.