Stoke-on-Trent - photo of the week
Cycling Tour of Britain celebrates the centenary of the Federation of the six towns
Tour of Britain Cycle Race - Sunday Sept 12th
London Road, Stoke - about 10.40am on Sunday 12th September 2010
Cycling festival as Tour returns in 100th year celebrations
The Tour of Britain returns to Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday for the third year running and a weekend's festival of cycling is planned to celebrate the centenary.
The race is the UK's biggest free to view sporting event and Olympic gold medallists Bradley Wiggins and Ed Clancy will be among those battling it out for the yellow jersey as 100 cyclists take to the streets of the city and North Staffordshire.
The second stage of the 2010 Tour will start in Burslem on Sunday morning and will follow a route taking in all the six towns of the city, finishing outside Hanley Town Hall in the afternoon.
From the Market Place in Burslem, known as the Mother Town of the Potteries, The Tour of Britain’s neutralised section will pass not far from Port Vale FC’s Vale Park home taking the peloton first to Tunstall, before turning to pass not far from the Start once more, making a great opportunity to grab an early second viewing of The Tour.
Waterloo Road and Cobridge Road take The Tour through the outskirts of Hanley and past the site of the 1986 National Garden Festival, now home to Festival Park, a bustling retail and leisure complex.
After passing through Etruria, named after the Etruscan people famed for their artistic products and once home to Josiah Wedgwood’s Etruria Works, The Tour visits Stoke before racing gets underway at the 0km flag on London Road.
As in 2009 the stage route heads out of the city via Trentham, climbing into the Staffordshire countryside via Hanchurch Woods and on through Swynnerton and Cold Norton on its way to Stone, the location of the first hot spot Sprint, that has proved a popular viewing location for spectators in each of the previous two Tours.
Another fast descent takes The Tour to Leek for the second Sprint of the day atop a nasty little rise, then on and up Cheddleton Bank for the closing kilometres back into Stoke-on-Trent, on roads familiar to riders from last year. After dropping down to Barlaston the route passes through the Wedgwood Estate and the last Sprint and into the final two of Stoke-on-Trent’s six towns – Longton and Fenton.
In Fenton the riders will be greeted by the familiar site of the arrow straight Victoria Road, guiding them towards the city centre by way of the short climb up from Joiners Square to Potteries Way. A brief descent offers some slight respite, although the chances are the pace will be frantic as they turn right into Broad Street and sprint for the line at the top of Albion Street.