‘A great oppportunity for business, community groups and individuals.’ That is the opinion of Hailsham town councillors as the town gears up for one of the biggest cycling events to ever pass through its streets.
The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and the country’s largest free to view live sporting event. For the first time the tour will see top riders racing through Hailsham, as well as other East Sussex towns including Uckfield, Eastbourne and Seaford.
The tour should enter Hailsham at around 1pm on September 13. 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 on to Stone Cross.
Hailsham town councillors believe the tour will provide good opportunites to join in the festivities and take advantage of promotional opportunities.
Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Jo Bentley, said: “I am delighted that we will welcome the Tour of Britain through Hailsham this September and it is an honour for the organisers of this great sporting event to have chosen our town to form part of the tour route.
“Hailsham and Sussex will be able to benefit from the country’s biggest professional bike race and hopefully a lot of business will be brought to the town. Therefore I would ask local businesses to lend their support and capitalise on the legacy. The fact that the event offers cyclists of all abilities a chance to experience some of this particular stage of the Tour of Britain will, hopefully, encourage many local residents and indeed visitors to take part in the mass participation event. However the Tour of Britain is not just for cycling enthusiasts, it is also a celebratory occasion for the communities the cyclists pass through. I hope people will get out there and wave their flags.”
The town will also host a number of events to coincide with the tour including a display from penny farthing, The Corn Exchange will project live coverage of the action and the mayor and the town council will organise a number of competitions.
Rolling road closures will see Hailsham’s roads shut for 30 minutes before the cycle race travels through and are expected to reopen minutes after the race has passed through. People living on the race route and normally park on the road, need to think of alternative arrangements, the council said.
The town council is looking for marshalls for the event. To volunteer call Karen Moralee on 01323 841702 or Cllr Bentley on 01323 840386. If you are a Hailsham based business and would like to get involved in the event contact the town council. For more information about the tour: hailsham-tc.gov.uk or tourofbritain.co.uk