Two-time Tour de France stage winner Steve Cummings says he is looking forward to racing on home soil as the OVO Energy Tour of Britain heads through West Kirby.
Cummings, 38, who lives in West Kirby, became only the second – and most recent – home winner of the race when he won the 2016 edition.
Twice a runner-up in the event, Cummings will race on home soil when the Tour hosts its first-ever stage in Wirral on day five (Wednesday 11 September), including along Banks Road, Meols Drive and North Parade.
He said: “Birkenhead Park is a special place for me because I did my first race there when I was 13. To have the opportunity to go back there 25 years on to start a professional race will no doubt be very special to me. I hope to have family, friends and club mates who have always supported me there on the day.
“We also pass through West Kirby, which is where I live now when I’m in the UK, and the big loop through Cheshire and Chester takes in familiar training roads from the past. I think it will be a great day for the local community and I’m really looking forward to going home.”
Organisers are encouraging local businesses to put out bunting, flags and banners to welcome the riders, and some schools are allowing pupils out of lessons to watch the race passing through, expected to be between 2pm and 2:30pm. West Kirby Library is giving away flags for people to wave.
The race itself will feature 20 teams, including 11 fresh from the Tour de France, a Great Britain team, and five UCI ProContinental squads, led by Corendon – Circus Cycling Team, who are already confirmed as bringing rising star Mathieu van der Poel to the race.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain passes through Port Sunlight on its way towards Chester, returning to Wirral via Heswall, Caldy, West Kirby and Hoylake, before passing through the Birkenhead Park finish line. It will then take in a loop through Seacombe, Wallasey and New Brighton.
High levels of traffic expected, and road closures and parking restrictions along the route, residents and visitors are encouraged to use public transport.
Live coverage and highlights of each stage of the OVO Tour of Britain will be broadcast on ITV4 in the UK.
A number of rolling road closures will be in place on 11 September, to ensure the safe passage of the race. Signs say roads could be closed from 11am – 4pm, but most will be shut for a period of about an hour, before and after the race passes through.
- Caldy Road, Caldy – between Column Road/Telegraph Road to Sandy Lane
- Village Road, West Kirby – between Kirby Park and Sandy Lane
- Sandy Lane, West Kirby – between Village Road and Banks Road
- Banks Road, West Kirby – between Sandy Lane and Dee Lane
- Dee Lane, West Kirby – between Banks Road and Grange Road
- Grange Road, West Kirby – between Dee Lane and Riversdale Road
- Meols Drive, West Kirby – between Grange Road and Market Street
- The King’s Gap, Hoylake – between Market Street and North Parade.
- North Parade, Hoylake – between The King’s Gap and Meols Parade
- Meols Parade, Hoylake – between North Parade and Dovepoint Road
- Dovepoint Road, Hoylake – between Meols Parade and Birkenhead Road
- Birkenhead Road, Meols – between Dovepoint Road and Heron Road
- Heron Road, Meols – between Birkenhead Road and Saughall Massie Road
No waiting, loading or unloading in these locations:
- Caldy Road, Caldy – between Melloncroft Drive and Sandy Lane (both sides)
- Sandy Lane,West Kirby – between Banks Road and Macdona Drive (both sides)
- Banks Road, West Kirby – between Sandy Lane and Dee Lane (both sides)
- Meols Drive, West Kirby – between Dee Lane and Bramerton Court (both sides)
- Meols Drive, Hoylake – from a point 100m south of its junction with Airlie Road to its junction with The
Kings Gap (both sides)
- North Parade, Hoylake – between The King’s Gap and Meols Parade (both sides)
- Meols Parade, Hoylake – between North Parade and Dovepoint Road (both sides)
- Dovepoint Road, Hoylake – between North Parade and Birkenhead Road (both sides)
More information can be found at https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/stages/stage-five/