The Tour of Britain is returning to Bristol. Not wanting anyone to miss out on the action, we’ve put together a guide to the day’s stage(s) and where best to witness the gurn.
In just a few short days the 2016 Tour of Britain will once again arrive in Bristol. Last visited in 2014 in a stage won by Michal Kwiatkowski, Bristol will this year host the tour’s penultimate stage(s) – 7a and 7b!
Indeed, September the 10th will not only feature the 8-day tour’s individual time trial (in the morning), but a circuit race – somewhat in vogue in Bristol’s city centre – featuring much of the same route in the afternoon.
The bridge out of the way, they’ll then head almost back on themselves with a very sharp left towards the descent into Bower Ashton. Then comes a few kms of pan-flat pedalling down Coronation Road before taking another left back up the opposite side of Bristol’s ‘new cut’ and up the Portway.
There’s little chance to “relax”, of course, as before they know it the route heads up everyone’s favourite hill, Bridge Valley Road, and finishes with a flourish by forcing everyone up that tricky left turn onto Ladies Mile and around the perimeter of the Downs.
Weighing in at a mere 15kms it’s a short TT, but one that’ll likely prove decisive in the outcome of Britain’s premier stage race. Expect Dumoulin and Wiggins to feature heavily.
Where to Watch
For our money, there’s only one place to settle in for the day. Take your freezer bag of belgian beer, lug it up Bridge Valley Road and find yourself some space. It will be at a premium.
The slowest, most painful part of the course will come at the point the riders turn left to take the final climb onto Ladies Mile. And, happily, there are grassy slopes and space aplenty just at the right moment. Anywhere along this stretch will give you a good view of the gurn.
I’d like to say there’s an alternative that doesn’t require a climb up to Downs-level, but Coronation Road is likely to offer the same level of spectacle. So get off that arse and get yourself up there. Dress accordingly. And don’t forget that cowbell.