Hemel Hempstead will host a stage of the Tour of Britain bike race for the first time, it has been announced.
The town will welcome some of the world’s top cyclists as they ride into Gadebridge Park on Friday, September 12, as part of a live broadcast on ITV4.
Dacorum Borough Council is working closely with the organisers of what is Britain’s largest professional cycling race, which this year features several new destinations on the route.
Cabinet member for residents and regulatory services Neil Harden said: “We’re so excited Dacorum is hosting The Tour of Britain. It will be great day out for all the family as well as cycling enthusiasts – and a big draw for visitors.
“We want to hear from local businesses who’d like to get involved and make the most of opportunities this major sporting event offers.”
Council leader Andrew Williams said: “It is great that Britain’s premier cycling event is not just coming through Hemel Hempstead but holding one of its closing stages here. It will be a major boost for tourism and put the town on the map.”
The tour’s website describes a ‘challenging final section through the heart of the Chilterns’ before a stage finish in the Dacorum town. The sixth section of the event, this stage will also be one of the longest at just over 200km.
Race director Mick Bennett said: “The final third of stage six through the Chilterns will be one of the toughest sections of the 2014 route, with a series of short, sharp climbs for riders to tackle.
“The countryside and climbs provide ideal racing roads, so I am sure we will see a worthy stage winner crowned in Hemel Hempstead.”
The tour, also the country’s biggest free-to-spectate sporting event, will be held from September 7 to 14, starting in Liverpool and reaching its finale in London.