Tour of Britain heads to Wealden villages

Cllr Claire Dowling
Cllr Claire Dowling

Cyclists taking part in Britain’s foremost race, The Tour of Britain, will spend a day riding through East Sussex.....from Newick south through Uckfield, Waldron, Horam and the South Downs to the coast at Brighton.

The detailed route of the race has just been published and will see riders tackling twisty country lanes and some of Wealden’s prettiest villages.

On Stage Seven - Camberley to Brighton, (Saturday, September 13) more than 100 international standard riders including Tour de France competitors - will complete the gruelling 225.1km stage.

Their route will take in Piltdown, Uckfield High Street, Framfield, Blackboys, Possingworth Lane, Waldron, Horam, Horsebridge, Stone Cross, Eastbourne, Beachy Head, East Dean, Friston, Newhaven, Piddinghoe, Lewes, Offham, Westmeston, Ditchling and over the Beacon into Brighton.

Other stages of the race run through Liverpool, North Wales, Devon, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and into London.

A spokeswoman for race organisers SweetSpot said: “We will provide full technical services to the race and its riders. We are shortly staging meetings with county councils and all the other authorities involved. Leaflets will be dropped through the doors of anyone living on the route, giving them times and full details. A rolling road closure will operate, ensuring the route is safe for riders at all times but also making sure residents are not inconvenienced.”

The route has been welcomed with enthusiasm by town and parish councils along the route.

County councillor and District’s portfolio holder for health and public safety, Claire Dowling told the Express: “This is fantastic! What an opportunity. We shall give this race the warmest of welcomes.”

At Uckfield Town Council’s recent meeting it was agreed Union flag bunting will be strung both sides of the length of the High Street.

A banner will also be hung across the width of the street saying Welcome to Uckfield.

It was also suggested that a competition will be arranged asking for examples of bicycle related art and craft work to be submitted for an award - prizes could be sought from local businesses such as Halfords and Pelham Cycles.

Members thought the competition could be promoted on UckfieldFM with the radio station helping to get local children involved. Local people will also be encouraged to wave flags along the route.