Alderley Park is preparig to host the The Tour of Britain stage five start when the nation's biggest and most prestigious professional bike race returns to Cheshire East on Thursday, 9th September 2021.
It is the first time the race has come through Cheshire East since 2016 when the borough hosted the whole stage from start to finish. Riders will start this leg of the tour at Alderley Park and travel through both Wilmslow and Alderley Edge later in the day.
The 152-kilometre (95-mile) stage will take in a loop of Cheshire and the fringes of the Peak District National Park before finishing in the heart of Warrington outside the town's Golden Gates.
Stage five will get underway from Alderley Park at 11:30am from outside Glasshouse, taking in a route through the grounds.
Riders will then pass through the towns of Holmes Chapel and Congleton, the latter of which hosts the first intermediate sprint.
A trio of ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs follow skirting below the famous skyline of Bosley Cloud and into the Cheshire Peak District, with the main climb at Bottom-of-the-Oven, a 1.7km ascent (with an average gradient of 6.9%) to just shy of the famous Cat and Fiddle.
Macclesfied, Rainow, and Adlington will all welcome the race before a second intermediate sprint at Wilmslow. The route then heads through Alderley Edge and on through Chelford, Knutsford and High Legh before entering Warrington via Appleton.
The council is anticipating crowds will gather along the roadside – particularly at the mountain climb and sprint sections – and is encouraging spectators to enjoy it safely, including watching it along the quieter sections.
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, added: "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."
More information about stage five and a map of the full route can be found on the Tour of Britain website.
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 said: "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.