Peak District gears up for Tour of Britain cycling stars

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TOUR de France winner and four-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins will be among some of the world’s top cyclists to tackle the hills and moors of the Peak District when the Tour of Britain passes through the area next week.

Wiggins and his Team Sky team-mate Mark Cavendish are expected to be the big draw for the eight-stage race, which begins in Ipswich tomorrow (Sunday).

Monday’s 112-mile second stage, from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park, will cross the southern half of the Peak District.

Initially passing through Ilkeston, Little Eaton and Duffield, the first of three Category One SKODA King of the Mountains climbs takes the race into the Derbyshire Dales, with a steep opening through Turnditch.

After descending into Ashbourne and following the A515 through Fenny Bentley, the route forks left to cross the river Dove before the second categorised climb of the day at Alstonefield and on towards Hulme End and Warslow, where The Tour visits again during Thursday’s fifth stage.

After the final categorised climb of the day at Morridge, the route crosses the A53 near Flash and joins the A54 near Allgreave, before heading onwards through Cheshire and towards the stage finish at Knowsley Safari Park.

Sixteen teams and riders from 23 different nationalities are to take part in the Tour of Britain.

For full route information, approximate timings and spectator information, visit www.tourofbritain.co.uk.