Tour of Britain: Dowsett loses the lead as cyclists power through Eastbourne

The peloton powers along the Eastbourne seafront during stage seven of the Tour of Britain - picture: Maria Szekelyhidi
The peloton powers along the Eastbourne seafront during stage seven of the Tour of Britain - picture: Maria Szekelyhidi

Crowds lined the seafront as some of the world’s best long distance cyclists powered through Eastbourne at high speed on Saturday during stage seven of the Tour of Britain.

The likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were among 150 riders all competing for 20 different teams in Britain’s biggest professional cycle race.

Wiggins, who rides for Team Sky, is the defending champion but arrived in Eastbourne in seventh place some way behind overall leader Alex Dowsett of England.

However, after a tough day of racing along the south coast in bright but breezy cnditions, Belgium’s Julien Vermote was the first rider to complete the seventh stage in Brighton while Dowsett lost the overall lead to Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle.

Dowsett dropped down to 10th behind Sir Bradley who remains in seventh. The race concludes in London on Sunday.

The race itself started in Liverpool city centre on September 7 and finishes in London on September 14.

It is made up of nine stages and the Eastbourne part of the journey is within the stage seven 140-mile route that began in Camberly, Surrey and finished in Brighton.

The riders, accompanied with an entourage of police cars, motorbikes, official team cars and even an overhead helicopter arrived in Eastbourne via the A22 from Hailsham at around 1.40pm.

The main group peddled through the town at speeds of around 30-40mph along the seafront, on to Beachy Head, through East Dean before heading to Seaford and finally Brighton.

A decent crowd turned out along the Eastbourne seafront to cheer the cyclists on.