TAMESIDE is gearing up for a bumper weekend of cycling with the Tour of Britain coming to the borough this Saturday (14 Sept) and Tameside Bicycle Festival on Sunday (15 Sept).
The eighth and final stage of the Tour of Britain will enter the borough at Werneth Low – which has been crowned a King of the Mountain climb in the event – before heading through Gee Cross, Hattersley, Mottram, Stalybridge and Mossley between approximately midday and 1pm.
The cycle race, which is being supported by Tameside Council, will be broadcast live on ITV4 and is a great opportunity to showcase the borough to a national and international audience while celebrating local opportunities for cycling.
Schools, businesses, community groups, sports clubs and residents are planning to give the riders a warm welcome by decorating the route with painted bicycles, bunting and art displays.
People are encouraged to come along on the day to cheer on the riders and wave to the TV cameras, while enjoying spectator entertainment and activities in the various community zones along the route. Many local businesses are also opening for extended hours and offering special deals on food and drink for people watching.
The council has worked with Stalybridge Celtic and Brother UK to create a spectacular piece of land art – which will hopefully be captured by ITV4’s helicopter film crew – at Celtic’s ground to celebrate the race. Pupils at Millbrook Primary School will also be performing live human land art as the riders pass.
Professional artists have worked with St Raphael’s, St Paul’s and Millbrook primary schools to create colourful roadside displays to decorate the route. And residents at Oakwood Care Home have created woven bike wheels for the day. There will also be displays of over 50 painted bikes as well as decorated bike wheels along the route.
The day after the Tour of Britain hits town, Stalybridge will host Tameside Bicycle Festival. The festival will take place between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 15 September in Armentieres Square. Everyone’s welcome to take part in free family-friendly activities including cycling skills, an obstacle course and arts and crafts.
For further information see www.tameside.gov.uk/touroftameside