The Tour of Britain – Britain’s only elite cycle stage race – will be coming to Oxfordshire on the same day as our Ride and Stride. It attracts many of the greatest bike riders in the world who in previous years have included Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome. We need to take advantage of this to win new StRiders but all those planning their StRide routes need to take account of the potential disruption. Watch this space for more information!
The penultimate stage of the nine-day race will pass through Oxfordshire on Saturday 9th September. The racers will start from Hemel Hempstead at 10.30 that morning and will be finishing that day at Cheltenham, (The Tour finishes in Cardiff the next day).
The racers will enter the County over Otmoor. Their route will then take them through Horton cum Studley, Islip, Bletchingdon, Charlbury and Shipton under Wychwood before heading on to Bourton-on-the-Water, Moreton, Stow, Winchcombe and Cheltenham.
The riders may all be in one group, so for a spectator they could all go past in less than a minute. Alternatively they may be split up and there might be a 10 minute gap between the first and last riders. The usual scenario is that a small group of riders try to ‘break away’ from the main field and then aim to keep several minutes ahead of them!
The police usually operate a rolling road block, with the minor roads used by the race being closed to traffic in both directions for perhaps up to an hour before the race comes through, while a main road like the A361 will probably only be closed 5 or 10 minutes before the race comes through. Side roads that intersect the route will also be closed just before the race passes. As soon as the race has passed everything should go quickly back to normal.
We will hope to post details of these timings on our website nearer the date. A rough preliminary estimate is that the race may pass Charlbury between about 12.30 and 1pm and Shipton between about 1pm and 1.30.
Towns along the route may be organising events, bunting etc to show themselves at their best to riders, visitors and TV cameras, and OHCT hopes to publicise suggested StRide routes for spectators once the race has passed.