There’s just under 30 days to go until British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, the Aviva Tour of Britain, arrives in the Peak District.
Stage Three of the event, on Tuesday September 6, will feature a first visit to Cheshire East with a stage from Congleton to Tatton Park outside Knutsford.
The challenging leg will take in the A537 Cat and Fiddle road on the outskirts of Buxton, a steep climb of more than ten kilometres and the longest and highest climb of the entire 2016 race.
Top riders such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish have competed in the past, but the complete line-up will not be known until nearer the event, which begins on September 4 in Glasgow.
Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Rachel Bailey, said: “We feel truly privileged to be hosting this wonderful spectacle in the borough and delighted that the Tour have selected Cheshire East to host this third stage of what is a captivating sporting event.”
Stage Three will begin with the riders heading out from the market town of Congleton, before the peloton makes its way west, passing through Crewe and Nantwich, and then looping back on themselves towards Sandbach.
The stage combines the gently rolling roads of the Cheshire Plain with some key climbs such as the Cat and Fiddle in the Peak District.Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director
From there it is a weaving route north up towards the first passage of the finish line, which will be located in the heart of Tatton Park, where spectators will be able to see the race twice, plus watch the live coverage on a big screen.
After passing the line, riders will start a large loop taking them into the Peak District, including the ten-kilometre climb up to the Cat and Fiddle Inn, the second highest public house in England at 515 metres above sea level.
At the summit, the riders will turn back on themselves along the A54 down towards the Bosley crossroads, before racing back through Knutsford to the finish in Tatton Park.
Tour of Britain Race Director, Mick Bennett, said: “Stage Three will present spectators with the chance to see the Tour of Britain on multiple occasions, not least of which at the finish in Tatton Park where we will have a passage of the line mid-afternoon, making it one of the best spectating locations on this year’s route.
“The stage combines the gently rolling roads of the Cheshire Plain with some key climbs such as the Cat and Fiddle in the Peak District.”
Derbyshire does not feature in this year’s race, having hosted a stage of the 2015 Tour of Britain. The county also welcomed the Aviva Women’s Tour last month.
The final line-up of the 20 competing Tour of Britain teams and riders will be confirmed later in the summer, although Team WIGGINS and the Great Britain national team are expected to feature.
Daily live coverage of the Tour of Britain will be featured on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.
The 2016 Tour of Britain in full
Stage One - Sunday September 4 - Glasgow to Castle Douglas - 168km
Stage Two - Monday September 5 - Carlisle to Kendal - 195km
Stage Three - Tuesday September 6 - Congleton to Tatton Park, Knutsford - 182km
Stage Four - Wednesday September 7 - Denbigh to Builth Wells - 217km
Stage Five - Thursday September 8 - Aberdare to Bath - 205km
Stage Six - Friday September 9 - Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor - 150km
Stage Seven a - Saturday September 10 - Bristol Stage Individual Time Trial - 15km
Stage Seven b - Saturday September 10 - Bristol Stage Circuit Race - 76.5km
Stage Eight - Sunday September 11 - London Stage presented by TfL - 100km