Chance to see cycling legends - The Evesham Observer

Chance to see cycling legends

Evesham Editorial 16th Aug, 2018   0

CYCLING fans across Evesham and Pershore are being invited to see British Tour De France heroes Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome in action at this year’s Tour of Britain.

This year’s Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and Giro d’Italia winner Chris Froome will ride together in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the first time since 2009.

The British pair, who placed first and third in July’s Tour de France, will both be on the start line of the Tour of Britain in Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire, on Sunday, September 2.

Welshman Thomas is a regular at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, having ridden it eight times since his debut with a Great British national team in 2005.

He finished sixth overall in 2009 and wore the British Road Race Champions’ jersey during the race in 2010, while his seventh-placed finish in the 2017 edition also saw him crowned the Adnams Best British Rider.

Froome’s two participations in the Tour of Britain to date came in the 2007 and 2009 editions. He placed 31st overall in the former, while two years later when he lined up alongside Thomas as part of the Barloworld-Bianchi team he finished 50th.

Since then he has established himself as the leading Grand Tour rider of his generation, having won four Tours de France, the 2017 Vuelta a Espana and the 2018 Giro d’Italia.

Dutchman Wout Poels will also join the pair on the start line in Wales for Team Sky. Poels is a three-time stage winner in the Tour of Britain, including the hill-top finishes at Hartside and Haytor.

Poels won his first Tour of Britain stage aged just 23, when he soloed to victory in Teignmouth on Stage Four in 2010.

Cycling fans can see the stars in action when stage four of the race is held in neighbouring Warwickshire on Wednesday, September 5.

Stage four will build on the success of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s visit to Warwickshire in 2017 by bringing the men’s race to the county for the first time.

This leg will be raced over 183.5 kilometres – the second longest of this year’s Tour – from Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa, using many of the same roads that the world’s top women covered when Britain’s leading women’s stage race returned to the county earlier this year.

The north-south-north direction taken by the route will allow spectators to catch the world’s best riders on a number of occasions; most notably at the Eisberg Sprint at Kenilworth and a potential bunch sprint come Royal Leamington Spa.

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