Hundreds of thousands of fans are set to roar Mark Cavendish on when the Tour of Britain hits Surrey.
World champion Cavendish and the international cast of riders are expected to draw up to 200,000 spectators to the race’s final stage this Sunday after the opening stages saw fans flock to the roadside in scenes reminiscent of this summer’s Olympic Games cycling events.
The spectators will be turning out to salute Cavendish before he defends his world crown later this month. Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour de France this summer and the Olympic time trial on the county’s roads last month, pulled out of the race before today’s stage after complaining of stomach problems overnight.
Huge crowds are expected to watch the Surrey stage at the start in Reigate and the finish on the cobbles of Guildford’s High Street as well as on leg-sapping climbs such as Leith Hill.
Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games Helyn Clack said: “There’s no doubt people will turn out in their droves to cheer their approval for Mark Cavendish’s amazing exploits.
“Although most roads on the route will only be closed for a short time while the cyclists pass through, we’re urging people to be prepared and plan ahead. That will help us to minimise disruption.
“We’ve provided all the information people need to plan in advance at gosurrey.info and we would urge everyone to use it.”
To ensure people have all the information they need to make the most of the race and prepare for any disruption, Surrey County Council has sent newsletters to residents and businesses on the route.
The leaflets include detailed information about road closures, parking restrictions, maps and tips for how people can plan ahead and enjoy the action.
Unlike the Olympic races where all roads on the route were closed from early in the morning, for the Tour of Britain most roads will only be closed for a short time just before the cyclists come through and will open again once the last support vehicle has passed by.
However, some roads will be closed for longer around the start and finish lines in Reigate and Guildford as well as West Street in Dorking and Barhatch Road in Cranleigh. Parking restrictions will also be in place. Estimated times for when the riders will pass through each area are available on www.gosurrey.info.
To find out the thoughts of Team IG Sigma Sport’s Simon Richardson and Dan Craven about tackling the race, click on this link.