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Cycling: Bristol and Bath will host stages of this year's Tour of Britain

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

Sir Bradley Wiggins is set to ride in Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire in this year's Tour of Britain

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Bristol and Bath will play a big part in the Tour of Britain cycle race this year.

Both cities will host stages, with the fourth leg of the tour finishing in Bristol on Wednesday, September 10, while Bath will see the riders begin stage six on Friday, September 12, when they will go on through Wiltshire and finish the day in Hemel Hempstead.

The Devon stage from Exmouth to Exeter is sandwiched between these two stages on September 11.

The Bristol leg will see some of the world's top riders climb Bridge Valley Road before a sprint finish on Clifton Downs.

Last year the race was won by Sir Bradley Wiggins and also featured top road racer Mark Cavendish.

The race into Bristol – described as the first visit to the city for the modern Tour – will be the climax of a 182km (113- mile) leg starting in Worcester and skirting the Cotswolds, Cheltenham and Stroud.

It is the first time in its 11-year history that it has gone through Bath

The riders will set off from the Royal Avenue, which runs through Royal Victoria Park and underneath the Royal Crescent, before completing a lap through the streets of Bath.

The stage will skirt Salisbury Plain on its way to the Chilterns and finishing in Hemel Hempstead.

Councillor David Dixon, Bath and North East Somerset Council's cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the local authority was keen to make the Tour of Britain coming through the city a springboard for a weekend of cycling activities.

He said: "We are honoured to be hosting a start stage here in Bath, which I'm sure many will agree is the most beautiful backdrop to showcase such a prestigious event.

"I know that our communities will be 100 per cent on board in welcoming the riders, teams and spectators to the city which starts a weekend of cycling activities and events across the whole area, building upon the council's aspirations for ensuring our communities are fit for life, our commitment to the delivery of first class facilities for sport and recreation; which in turn supports our thriving economy."

Race director Mick Bennett said: "Bringing the Tour of Britain to Bath will be a first for the modern era of the race and one that we are very much looking forward to.

"Bath is a world famous visitor destination around the world, so in the first year that The Tour of Britain has achieved the upgraded HC status it is fitting to be starting a stage there."

The 2014 Tour of Britain will begin in Liverpool on September 7 and finish eight days later in central London.

British Cycling's Cyclesport Director Jonny Clay said: "The Tour of Britain will not only deliver on every level for cycling fans, giving them the opportunity to see the best teams and riders in the world competing on their door step, but it is also a great day out for people of all ages. Watching the race from the roadside is free, allowing thousands of spectators to get caught up in the excitement of the event."

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