With Gloucestershire hosting its first full stage of the Tour of Britain this September 2023, the full route has now been revealed — with plenty of opportunities to see the world's top cyclists as they whizz through the county.
During the penultimate seventh stage of this year's race, the riders will cover 106.3 miles as they travel from Tewkesbury to the historic Gloucester Docks on Saturday 9 September 2023.
It’s the first time Gloucestershire has hosted a full stage of the iconic cycling race, which passed through the county in 2016 and culminated in Cheltenham in 2017, after the 2022 event was cancelled due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Local spectators can pitch up to cheer on the racers at various checkpoints including Bishops Cleeve, Winchcombe, Cirencester, Tetbury, Chipping Sodbury, Yate, Dursley and Stroud — and with just 10 miles between the start and finish locations.
The route presents a challenge as the cyclists take on more than 2,200 metres of ascent on roads full of tricky twists and turns. It also features two locations that fit into the King of the Mountains category of the race — Winchcombe Hill and Crawley Hill — both with thigh-burning gradients to tackle.
But despite the tricky route, cyclists will also be treated to some of the most beautiful scenery in the south west, showing off the county's natural beauty on the global stage.
Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, councillor Mark Hawthorne said: 'This route will showcase what is so great about Gloucestershire, passing through the Cotswolds and Stroud on its way from Tewkesbury to Gloucester.
'Events like the Tour of Britain are key to helping our economy thrive and showcase, to a significant international audience, all that Gloucestershire has to offer.'
The Tour of Britain is part of the UCI ProSeries, which saw Charlie Hatton from the Forest of Dean put Gloucestershire on the map as he claimed gold in the 2023 World Championships.
For anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of the action, the flag lifts on the race on Saturday 9 September 2023 at 11am in Tewkesbury, with riders due to pass through Winchcombe from 11.35am; Cirencester from 12.30pm; Tetbury from 1.04pm; Chipping Sodbury from 1.35pm; Yate from 1.38pm; Wotton-under-Edge from 2.02pm; Dursley from 2.14pm; and Stroud from 2.33pm, with timings based on the earliest estimates for riders to arrive at each destination.
The race is free to watch and will also be broadcast on ITV4 from Sunday 3 September 2023, for anyone who can't make it in person.