Rochdale will be buzzing with excitement and entertainment on Saturday, 14 September 2019 as we welcome the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
Sunshine and dry weather is forecast for the weekend, giving another boost as British Cycling's premier road cycling event races through Rochdale on its final day, arriving in the town centre at approximately 12.45pm.
Riders include 4-time Tour de France stage winner Dylan Groenewegen and British sprinter Mark Cavendish MBE.
Spectators are encouraged to come out and line the route to cheer on the peloton as it makes its way through the borough. At Rochdale Town Hall or in Norden you'll be in prime position for a great view as the cyclists travel along The Esplanade, past the town hall before heading for the long scenic climb up Edenfield Road through Norden, live on television.
The Rochdale route is: Broad Lane, Oldham Road, Central Park, Wood Street, Molesworth Street, John Street, Newgate, The Esplanade, Dane Street, Mellor Street and Edenfield Road.
At Rochdale Town Hall from 10am to 2pm there will be a family friendly event with entertainment, food, music and cycling related activities. This includes Bicycle Boy – a bicycle-powered musical show for children aged 6-10 and their families, with songs, laughs and lots of interaction. Show times are 11.30am and 1.30pm. Whatever level of cyclist you are you'll be able to try out a range of different bikes and ride them along the race route on The Esplanade. Whether you're just learning to ride, a regular cyclist, a wheelchair user or not confident about riding, there will be lots of bikes for you and your family to try including balance bikes, mountain bikes, three-wheelers and accessible bikes. Link4Life will also be providing free cycling sessions and there'll even be an outdoor spin class to try. If you've got any basic repairs needed on your bike, bring it along and experts will fix it free of charge.
While enjoying the entertainment and soaking up the race day atmosphere, there will be drinks and snacks from the Busy Beans pop up café and cool treats from Ice Cream Creations on sale, while nearby restaurants, bars and cafes will be welcoming visitors for lunch and refreshments, with special 'Pit Stop' discounts.
Sports fans are also invited to watch the race in Norden, with Jubilee Park becoming a spectator hub and all the village's pubs and bars planning for a busy day as crowds descend to get the best views. Many local venues will be offering front row seats and some of the best chances in the borough to watch the world's top cyclists up close.
Our leader, Councillor Allen Brett, said:
“I hope Saturday’s visit will further increase the reputation of the area as a cycling hotspot, and to have the world’s leading riders coming to the borough racing past our town hall is going to be wonderful. The route through Norden and the climb up Edenfield Road will be another highlight of what I’m sure will be a great day. The community have really got behind the event and I am encouraging as many people as possible to come and watch the event at the town hall or in Norden. I want to ensure we give the riders a big welcome, and with the event being covered live from start to finish on television, fans will be watching around the world.”
Councillor Janet Emsley, our cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:
"Having seen what a great response the event has been getting so far, we're really looking forward to welcoming The Tour of Britain to Rochdale this weekend. There are some great family friendly activities around the town hall from 10am which will also be a great place to watch the race from, as well as in Norden village. Bring your flags and homemade banners down to cheer on the riders as they pass by. Local eateries will be open so do come along, enjoy the atmosphere, have something to eat and drink and enjoy the day."
Because of the nature of the event, a rolling road closure will be enforced. This means that roads on and around the race route will be closed for a short period in which it takes the race to pass by, usually for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before the lead riders arrive, and indicated by police escort vehicles. Signs are already on the route and local residents and businesses have been informed.
ITV4 screens live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights programme of the best of the action.