Sport Saturday, September 9th Words by: Adam Knight, pictures by: Facebook/TheTourOfBritain

How, Where & When to watch the Tour of Britain in Herefordshire

Sport Saturday, September 9th

How, Where & When to watch the Tour of Britain in Herefordshire

Tomorrow, the final stage of the Tour Of Britain – the biggest domestic road race of the year - goes right through Herefordshire en route to a podium finish in Cardiff.

This is how, when and where you watch the action. 

How

Don’t:

(Wait for it...)

 

Road cycling is one of the few elite sports where fans can get literally within touching distance of their heroes. For free. It’s a big part of what makes events like Le Tour and the Vuelta – which Chris Froome will win on Sunday – so special.

Us Brits are a little less accustomed to road race etiquette than the our European cousins. But basically, if you give the riders the road, look out for the guy in the green jersey and generally don’t be prat, you’ll be fine.

Do:

Road Cycling UK has a great piece for newbies here. Tips include how to find a good roadside spot, how to score free stuff and when to ride the route yourself.

 

Where

Stage 8 sets off from Worcester with the racing starting when the riders get out of the city. The route goes south to hit the Malverns, rides right through Ledbury, skirts the southern edge of Hereford, climbs the Callow before diving down towards Llancloudy on the old Monmouth road. After leaving the county it cuts just north of Monmouth heads through Usk before diving South for the big finish in the Welsh capital.

King of the Mountains/ Sprints

As well as the main race – the General Classification, in cycling parlance – there are other titles up for grabs, races within races.

At different points throughout each stage there are sections where riders can score points by being the first through. Usually this means they’re great spots to watch as they result in mini-sprint finishes for an imaginary line on the route.

The two titles up for grabs are the Skoda King Of the Mountains – which as the name suggests, features some leg-burning hill climbs – and the Eisberg Sprints which are a chance for the speedsters to put the hammer down.

 

 

A post shared by Ian Bibby (@ianbibs) on

 Tomorrow, the closest KOM sections are at British Camp in the Malverns, and the Marlborough Drag in a village called Crossway, just south of Garway to the South-West on the county.

The first Sprint of the day should be a great spectacle, with the checkpoint slap bang in the middle of Ledbury. There’s also another one in Usk if you wanted to drive down.

If you’re looking for someone to cheer on, other than GB stars like Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas, try and get to one of these stages as ex-Hereford-based NFTO rider Ian Bibby already has points on the board, and has been a big player in both classifications working alongside his new JLT Condor team-mate Graham Briggs, who leads the Sprints. Another former NFTO rider (the brilliantly-named) Steele Van Hoff, also placed third in one of Saturday’s sprints so keep an eye out for the One Pro Cycling rider.

 

When

So these guys move fast. And as much as possible, you don’t want to be standing around for four hours just to watch 10 mins of action. Also,  you may want to try and catch the race at two points of the route.

Either way knowing some rough timings help. Here’s some ETA’s from the official site:

British Camp 11:57am (+/- 6mins)

Ledbury SPRINT 12:07pm (+/- 9mins)

Tarrington 12:19pm (+/- 11mins)

Mordiford 12:29pm (+/- 13mins)

Rotherwas bypass/Warehouse 701 12:39 (+/- 15mins)

The Callow 12:50pm (+/- 12:50 +/- 16mins)

St Weonards 1:02pm (+/- 20mins)

Crossway KOM 1:17pm (+/- 23mins)

Usk SPRINT 2:03pm (+/- 32mins)

Celtic Manor KOM 2:21pm (+/- 36mins)

Cardiff circuit SPRINT 1 – 1st passage of finish line 3:12pm (+/- 46mins)

Cardiff circuit SPRINT 2 – 2nd passage of finish line 3:24pm (+/- 48mins)

FINISH 3:35pm (+/- 51mins)

For more detailed timings, download the 'ETA'  guide here.

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