Ilkeston to welcome top cycling tour

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Some of the world’s top cyclists will be heading to Ilkeston for this year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain.

It has been revealed that stage six of the premier road cycling event, which will run from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, will pass through the town on Friday September 11, although the exact route is yet to be determined.

The 189-kilometre leg will take in Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands, before entering Derbyshire and calling at Buxton, Whaley Bridge, Chatsworth, Matlock, Carsington and Belper before entering Erewash.

Derbyshire County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor John Owen, welcomed the announcement.

“We’re really pleased to welcome the Tour of Britain to Derbyshire with the route showing off our scenic countryside,” he said.

“The tour will bring a boost to local businesses with visitors staying over in the county to make the most of our food and drink and tourist attractions.

“We recently hosted the Tour de France and are hosting L’EROICA for the second time this year and we are keen to not waste this opportunity to build on the county’s rich cycling heritage.

“Events like this really showcase what a great county Derbyshire is and we’re working hard behind the scenes to make sure we host other premium cycling events.

“The Tour will encourage more people to get out cycling into Derbyshire and maybe the next generation’s Bradley Wiggins could be a local.”

Further stage details, including Ordnance Survey maps, will be announced in the summer, along with details of the 20 competing teams.

Mick Bennett, Race Director of Friends Life Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot, said: “Stage Six will not be an easy stage at all for the riders, and may well be the toughest of the entire 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain. We have an exciting and very scenic route joining two cities both with a rich cycling heritage, which is sure to play a part in shaping the overall race for the Friends Life Yellow Jersey.”