Wiggins and Cavendish shun Olympic fun for Tour of Britain
Cyclists take on the Peak District as other Olympians celebrate with today’s parade through London
AS AN EPIC summer for British cycling draws to a close there is one final chance to see some of the biggest names in the sport in action, by watching the Tour of Britain.
The race is usually a low-key affair but this year's edition is set to be the most popular ever, mainly thanks to the participation of Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist, Bradley Wiggins, and the reigning Sports Personality of the Year, Mark Cavendish. They have foregone the opportunity to join their Olympic team-mates on the open-top bus parade through London this afternoon and were instead spending this afternoon toiling through the Peak District.
The Tour got underway in Ipswich on Sunday with the first leg finishing at the Norfolk Showground after a 200km ride through the Suffolk and Norfolk countryside. It was won by Luke Rowe, a member of Team Sky. He triumphed after sprint favourite Cavendish was involved in a crash around a mile from the finish. Wiggins also took a tumble in the closing stages, but both big names were able to carry on.
Today's stage began in Nottingham where large crowds turned out to watch as the riders set out on the stage that finished in Knowsley in Merseyside.
The Tour of Britain is nowhere near as arduous as the Tour de France, nor even the races around Spain and Italy, and only has eight stages. The event finishes in Guildford on Sunday and before then there are six more stages, not including today’s. With cycling suddenly flavour of the month thousands of spectators are expected to line the route of the remaining legs.
Tomorrow the race heads into Scotland as it travels from Jedburgh to Dumfries. On 12 September the riders travel from Carlisle to Blackpool and the following day's stage starts and finishes in Stoke.
On Friday the Tour visits Wales with a stage of 190km from Welshpool to Caerphilly. The penultimate leg is between Barnstaple and Dartmouth and the final day's action takes place between Reigate and Guildford.
Details of the route are available at tourofbritain.com.