Hailsham could be one of the best places to watch the Tour of Britain after the town was chosen to host the finish of the third sprint section of stage seven.
Back in July the Express reported how the UK’s biggest professional cycle race is set to pass through Hailsham on September 13 for the first time.
Stage seven of the tour should enter Hailsham around 1pm and the race route will take cyclists into Hailsham via Upper Horsebridge and London Road, continuing on to the High Street, then George Street, South Road, Ersham Road and onto Stone Cross.
Wealden District Councillor for Hailsham Central and North, Nick Collinson, who is also portfolio holder for Community leadership and Communications, said Hailsham will be one of the key sections of the race for the 120 riders, which sees the leading five riders get extra points for passing the ‘finish line’ of the third sprint, which will be in the High Street. Each stage of the tour has around three sprint sections where riders have to cycle really fast to win sprint time bonus points. The points are awarded to the first riders to reach a certain point.
Cllr Collinson said: “This is a really exciting event for the town which is also hosting the opening ceremony of the Hailsham Festival of Arts and Culture, which is now in its eighth year, on the same day. In an effort to link all of the events of the day together there will be a whole host of activities for visitors to take part in, such as Freedom Leisure bringing their virtual cycle equipment into the town centre for people to try, as well as other local sports clubs and associations having stalls and stands to promote their activities. Additionally Hailsham Chamber of Commerce have put up a prize for the best dressed shop window and there are a whole host of other activities as part of the Festival itself, with the official Festival opening, live music, the Hailsham Cake Bake competition and the welcome return of Hailsham Festival FM Radio 87.7 which will be broadcasting throughout the 10 days the festival runs for.
“Whilst there will be traffic restrictions on the day, visitors are encouraged to make use of public transport or cycle into the town. The town council is looking into providing additional cycle racking in various locations around the town centre and for volunteers to be official marshals for this section of the race and ask anyone interested to get in touch.”
Hailsham Town Council said the event would be a great opportunity for business, community groups and individuals and has shortlisted some ideas for businesses to get involved in the event and attract people into the town (see left).
Sir Bradley Wiggins will take part in the tour – see page 23.