LOCAL leaders made their way to the top of Ditchling Beacon to mark the launch of the Tour of Britain’s Sussex stage.
The climb is the same one facing riders on the penultimate leg of the UK’s biggest professional cycle race.
East Sussex County Council leader Cllr Keith Glazier and transport and environment lead member Cllr Carl Maynard were joined by dignitaries from Brighton and Hove City Council and West Sussex County Council on Thursday, July 31.
The route for stage seven, on Saturday, September 13, 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 finish 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.
The stage, which begins in Camberley, Surrey, 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.”
For more information about stage seven and a chance to win VIP tickets and a jersey signed by the race winner visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/tourofbritain
Re-launched by SweetSpot Group in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, The Tour of Britain is now the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event.
Upgraded to 2.HC level by the UCI, the sport’s governing body, for 2014, The Tour of Britain attracts the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners, to compete on British roads each September.
The 2014 Tour of Britain will begin in Liverpool on Sunday, September 7, finishing eight days later in central London with a double-header final day, featuring an individual time trial and circuit race finishing on Whitehall.
This year’s tour will be the first ranked at the 2.HC level following an upgrade during the winter by the UCI, the sport’s governing body.
More information on the 2014 Tour of Britain can be found at www.thetour.co.uk
The Tour of Britain 2014
Stage One Sunday 7 September Liverpool
Stage Two Monday 8 September Knowsley to Llandudno
Stage Three Tuesday 9 September Newtown to the Tumble
Stage Four Wednesday 10 September Worcester to Bristol
Stage Five Thursday 11 September Exmouth to Exeter
Stage Six Friday 12 September Bath to Hemel Hempstead
Stage Seven Saturday 13 September Camberley to Brighton
Stage Eight a Sunday 14 September London individual time trial, presented by TfL
Stage Eight b Sunday 14 September London circuit race, presented by TfL