BRITAIN’S biggest professional cycling race will hit East Sussex for the first time as the county hosts part of the penultimate leg of the Tour of Britain.
The provisional route for stage seven, on Saturday, September 13 2014, will see the world’s top riders enter the county near North Chailey, heading through Uckfield, Horam, Hailsham, Eastbourne and East Dean.
The tour heads west through Seaford, Newhaven and Lewes, briefly re-entering West Sussex to take on the famous climb of Ditchling Beacon before passing through Brighton for the finish.
The stage has been made possible with support from East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council.
Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome such a high-profile cycling event to East Sussex and look forward to the visitors this will attract.
“This will provide a boost for local businesses and support the growing enthusiasm for cycling as a healthy choice for leisure and everyday journeys in the county.”
The stage, which begins in Camberley, Surrey, traverses West Sussex through Petworth, Billingshurst, Horsham and Haywards Heath before entering East Sussex.
After Ditchling Beacon, the provisional route sees the race head into Brighton, passing through Coldean and down Lewes Road, Bear Road, Wilson Avenue and Marine Parade before reaching the finish line in Madeira Drive.
The stage finish in Brighton will come just over 20 years after the Tour de France finish in the city, and 24 years since the last time a Tour of Britain came to Brighton.
Race director Mick Bennett said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Tour of Britain to Sussex and Brighton for the first time in the race’s modern history.
“While the finish in Brighton is definitely one for the sprinters, the South Downs and Ditchling Beacon in the closing kilometres will pose a real challenge to them and set up what I’m sure will be a fantastic finish on the seafront.”
The final route details for stage seven will be announced in the summer.