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We're gearing up to welcome Tour of Britain

Communities throughout the Derbyshire Dales are gearing up for Britain's premier road cycling event this Friday, 11 September.

Mark CavendishYour District Council has been making grants available to urge local communities to give a big welcome to the Aviva Tour of Britain, including cycling superstars Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

The peloton is in the Dales for well over two hours from around 12.20pm as Stage 6 of the prestigious event makes its way from Stoke to Nottingham.

Friday's event features three 'King of the Mountains' sections - all in the Dales, starting in Hathersage. Grindleford, Stoney Middleton, Wardlow, Ashford in the Water, Bakewell, Pilsley and Chatsworth will all get a great view of a race featuring some of the world's top riders.

A second 'King of the Mountains' challenge will involve Beeley Moor, before the Tour dips down into Matlock, over Starkholmes and Cromford Hill, passing by Carsington Water and taking in Hulland Ward before moving on to Amber Valley and the eventual stage finish in Nottingham.

ToB posterThe Tour enters the Dales in Hathersage, where the Hathersage Fat Boys local running club are providing local car parking and stewarding for spectators, while the parish council is lining the village with Union Flags. Heart for Hathersage are also decorating the village centre with bunting and plants to add even more colour.

Grindleford Playing Fields Association are providing off-road parking to residents and visitors and Grindleford Community Shop will be displaying a large 'Grindleford Welcomes the Tour of Britain' banner and encouraging spectators to stay and take part in their own cycle festival. Grindleford Primary School Parent Teacher Association is working with the organisers of the Grindleford Hilly Billy and the Grindleford Goat Sportive, an established cycle event offering three routes around the area the next day. The PTA is also planning a festival at The Sir William Pub from 12 noon until 11pm, including a market place themed around bikes and cycling, plus a barbecue and music.

In Bakewell, the Peak District National Park Authority will be adorning the town with banners, and Bakewell Town Council will be adding to the festival feel by distributing hand flags.

Darwin Forest at the top of Farley is encouraging visitors to line the route and the District Council is staging its own event in Matlock's Hall Leys Park from 11.30am until 3.30pm, when hundreds of local children will be taking part in fun activities including a cycling themed orienteering challenge, balance bike sessions and a Smoothie Bike.

The Celebrating Cromford resident dragon will be on a bike at the side of the cycling challenge that is Cromford Hill - and bunting will be out to welcome the UK's biggest professional cycle race, while in Middleton by Wirksworth the local mountain bike group have been busy painting bikes to decorate the route and plan to line the roadside wearing yellow t-shirts. Kirk Ireton School pupils have a walk planned to watch the peloton cruise past Carsington Water.

Ahead of Friday's event, Peak Organics are planning a cycle-themed display at Matlock Market this Wednesday, including a delivery trike, information about food cycles, a spinning wheel and other cycle-related items.

Said District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE:

"Back in July, we invited local community groups, businesses, individuals and parish and town councils to suggest cycle-themed ideas to ensure this prestigious Tour receives a massive welcome from the Derbyshire Dales.

"The overhead camera shots of television coverage can have a remarkable impact on viewers, and we have every reason to expect a visitor boost when people see one of the most beautiful areas of the UK - which the Derbyshire Dales undoubtedly is - captured at its best, especially on a glorious day, which is what the forecasters are predicting."

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