Spotlight shines on town as Tour passes through

Tour of Britain passes Eastbourne.'Photo by Sarah Balderson. Please credit if used. SUS-140915-073539001
Tour of Britain passes Eastbourne.'Photo by Sarah Balderson. Please credit if used. SUS-140915-073539001

The spotlight was shining on Eastbourne on Saturday (September 13) as cyclists sped through the town in the Tour of Britain.

Thousands of spectators lined the streets to catch glimpses of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish as they passed iconic landmarks such as Beachy Head and Eastbourne Pier.

Television helicopters hovered overhead as, shortly after 1.15pm, riders cycled through Hailsham, Stone Cross, Friday Street, Langney Rise, Princes Road, along the seafront, Dukes Drive, Beachy Head, Birling Gap and East Dean, before joining the A259 to Brighton.

The entertainment wasn’t restricted to the roads, though, with a big screen on the seafront showing all the live footage of the cycle race on ITV and ending with coverage of BBC Proms. The evening was topped off with a spectacular fireworks finale.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, Cllr Carolyn Heaps, said, “What an amazing turn out! It was such a thrill to see thousands lining the streets on Saturday and fantastic to see so many families enjoying some top sporting action. This was a great advert for cycling in Eastbourne, and with many also attending the free cycling activities on the Western Lawns, perhaps we may have inspired our own future Wiggo here in Eastbourne too! ”

The Western Lawns played host to an action-packed line-up of events on the day, including Eastbourne’s very own Velopace Beachy Head Time Trial Challenge. For children, there was also a gentler Go Ride session of activities presented by Pedal Power,

Budding cyclists were able to pick up tips with Bikeability and try out the Watt bike challenge with Eastbourne Rovers Cycling Club. Visitors could take an historical look at cycling thanks to Bespoke, Bexhill classic Bikes and The Ordinary Bicycle Company, which brought Penny Farthings and other classic bikes.

The Tour of Britain was won by Dylan Van Baarle, with Sir Bradley Wiggins in third place behind Michal Kwiatkowski.