On Wednesday 9 August it will be exactly one month until the OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s penultimate stage starts in Hemel Hempstead.
We're celebrating the milestone with a Family Fun Day at the new Dacorum Cycle Hub today (Tuesday 8 August), giving young people the chance to improve their cycling skills and take part in Go Ride races.
The 20 teams for the 2017 OVO Energy Tour of Britain were also announced on Monday (7 August), in a line-up that features 10 UCI WorldTour teams, plus a further three squads that have competed in one of the two Grand Tours so far in 2017.
All of the top five teams in the current UCI WorldTour rankings – Quick-Step Floors, Team Sky, BMC Racing, Movistar Team and Orica Scott – will be at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
Returning to the Tour will be Team Katusha Alpecin, who confirmed Alexander Kristoff, winner of the European Championship Road Race and Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on consecutive weekends, and his teammate World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin, who won the Bristol stage last year, as part of its provisional line-up.
“The Tour of Britain is not only a perfect race in my build-up to the World Championships, but I will also try to win some stages,” said Kristoff. “For me, it is a return to this race after eight years. I still have good memories of my participation in 2009. Moreover, I always perform well on British soil. I took my Olympic medal in London as well as the victory in last week’s RideLondon-Surrey Classic WorldTour race. I'm really looking forward to participating in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.”
Team Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish is targeting the Tour to return from his Tour de France injury, and Sky’s Elia Viviani is aiming to add to his four stage wins in the race.
We'll be hosting the Tour in Hemel Hempstead town centre on Saturday 9 September and there will be a fantastic morning of entertainment for both cycling enthusiasts and families to enjoy. The event starts at 9am and crowds will be hoping to get a selfie with their favourite riders before the race starts at 10.30am.
Councillor Neil Harden, Portfolio Holder for Residents and Corporate Services at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Hemel Hempstead, and Dacorum, on a national stage. The race will be starting on Waterhouse Street with the recently restored and beloved Water Gardens providing a picture-perfect setting as the race gets under way. Having made major investments to improve both the town centre and Maylands Business Park, having the Tour wind its way through these areas it's a terrific way for local residents and national viewers to get a glimpse of what a great place Hemel is to live, work and enjoy.
“Having the Tour in Hemel Hempstead has also been inspirational to so many young people. The new Dacorum Cycle Hub opened earlier this year and has already encouraged hundreds of young people and adults to get back on their bikes and improve their riding skills. It also provides the perfect place for residents to get together and celebrate sport. With such a diverse range of sports and activities available in and around Hemel Hempstead, we want to ensure that we welcome national events like this to Dacorum so that we can all benefit from the enjoyment and inspiration they bring to our doorstep.”
After the peloton races off from Hemel Hempstead there will still be plenty of action in the town centre, with 3sixty bicycle stunt display team performing throughout the morning.
For more information please visit www.dacorum.gov.uk/tob2017