Wiggins - Tour of Britain confirmation boost

Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed he will compete in this year's Friends Life Tour of Britain cycle race.

Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed he will defend his title and compete in this year's Friends Life Tour of Britain cycle race - meaning maximum crowds should now flock to see the event in Brighton.

The race comes to Brighton and Hove on September 13 and the news that the hugely-popular former Olympic champion will be among the peloton of riders is likely to see thousands of people line the city's streets to cheer on the cycling hero. Wiggins was the first Briton to win the iconic Tour de France race and in cycling terms is pure box office.

And the fact he will be crossing the stage finish line on Madeira Drive has come as a boost to Brighton and Hove City Council, which expects the race to generate as much as £3 million for the local economy.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the city's economic development and culture committee said: 'This is a fantastic boost for the race and the city. The '˜Wiggo' factor will make the Tour of Britain stage finishing in Brighton a must-see event.

'We're expecting thousands to line the route in Sussex and the city will be showcased to an international audience. Last year's race recorded a net visitor spend of £3 million per stage so it will be significant for our visitor economy and a wonderful addition to the events we host throughout the year.'

The stage seven leg of the tour, which leaves from Camberley, Surrey at 10am, takes in a 140 mile journey encompassing West Sussex,East Sussex and finally entering Brighton where it will culminate on Madeira Drive between 3 and 4pm. The final stage of the race takes place in London the following day.

It is hoped seeing star riders close-up will encourage more locals to take to the saddle themselves.