Hemel is gearing up to welcome Cavendish & Co

Cycling legend Mark Cavendish is due to arrive in Hemel this Saturday.
Cycling legend Mark Cavendish is due to arrive in Hemel this Saturday.

Hemel Hempstead is set to play host to some of the best cyclists in the world when it welcomes the Tour of Britain’s stars this weekend.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s penultimate stage will be starting in Hemel Hempstead on Saturday.

The riders have now been confirmed and among the names arriving in Hemel will be ten-time stage winner and Olympic medalist Mark Cavendish.

He is leading Team Dimension Data and will be making his comeback from injury after fracturing his scapula on stage four of this year’s Tour de France.

Up-and-coming prospect Rory Townsend will also be making his debut in the tour for team BIKE Channel Canyon.

Townsend visited local young cyclists at the Dacorum Cycle Hub this summer.

Welshman Geraint Thomas, who took the yellow jersey at this year’s Tour de France with a stunning victory in the opening time trial, will also be visiting Dacorum as part of Team Sky’s six-man squad.

Dacorum Borough Council is hosting the tour in Hemel Hempstead town centre from 9am on Saturday.

Spectators will get the chance to see cyclists prepare for the race, watch pre-race media interviews and the race start in Waterhouse Street at 10.30am.

There will also be plenty going on in the town centre to keep everyone entertained including the ‘3sixty’ bicycle stunt team performing stunning tricks in Bridge Street throughout the morning.

Basketball team Hemel Storm will also be meeting fans and running basketball competitions before their first game of the season this Saturday night (see preview story, right).

Winners of the council’s ‘decorate a bike’ competition will also be announced on a stage before the race.

The entire Tour of Britain is being shown live on ITV4, so residents are being reminded to set their TVs to record to see if they can spot their faces in the crowd when getting home.

For more details about the event happening in Hemel town centre, the stage seven route or road closures visit website www.dacorum.gov.uk/tob2017.