SOME of the world’s best cyclists will pass through the Stroud district later this year.
Gloucestershire’s first-ever full stage of the Tour of Britain, will see over a hundred riders travel tackle a 169-kilometre course on Friday, September 9.
Tewkesbury will host the stage start, before competitors head south – passing through the Cotswolds and then on to Cirencester, Minchinhampton and Tetbury.
The route then goes into South Gloucestershire before heading backing north through the Stroud district, passing close to Stonehouse and Stroud.
A thrilling finale into Gloucester is guaranteed, as the closing 30 kilometres feature the climbs of Crawley Hill (4.6km long, maximum gradient of 21.5%) and Painswick (3km long, average gradient of 5%, maximum of 15.8%). The latter, located 12 kilometres to the south east of the finish line, will likely see some of the day’s most thrilling racing.
The Women’s Tour will also visit the county for a Tewkesbury to Gloucester stage on Wednesday, June 8 although this will be on a different route.
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “The Gloucestershire stage of the Tour of Britain really has it all: an historic start location, stunning scenery, challenging climbs and a brilliant finish venue.
“We’re thrilled that the 2022 race is able to feature our first-ever full stage of the Tour in the county and we thank Gloucestershire County Council for their support.
“Of course, before that, we cannot wait to also bring the Women’s Tour, the UK’s most prestigious women’s race, to Gloucestershire in June.”
While the 2016 race passed through the county, and the penultimate day of the 2017 event culminated in Cheltenham, this will be the first stage set entirely in Gloucestershire.
Spectators can watch all the action by the roadside for free and ITV4 will also be broadcasting live coverage of every stage, as well as a nightly highlights show.
Last year’s race was won by Belgian rider Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo – Visma), with reigning world road race champion Julian Alaphilippe finishing third overall.