THOUSANDS of people stood at the roadside to watch the Tour of Britain speed through South Gloucestershire.
Stage Seven of this year’s race passed through Horton, Chipping Sodbury, Yate, Iron Acton, Rangeworthy, Cromhall and Charfield on its way from Tewkesbury to Gloucester on September 9.
Crowds waited in sweltering conditions, with cycling fans – some from clubs who made a day out of it and arrived on their own bikes – joined by residents enjoying the chance to watch a major sporting event on their doorsteps.
First the police outriders and marshals passed through to put a rolling roadblock in place, then a breakaway leading group of riders was followed by the main race group, or peloton, and dozens of support vehicles, with TV cameras on motorbikes and cars filming the action.
The riders passed in a matter of seconds, cheered and applauded by the crowds, while cameras and smartphones were held out to capture the occasion for posterity.
South Gloucestershire Council leader Claire Young took pictures of the race as it passed through Iron Acton in her Frampton Cotterell ward.
Claire said: “We were delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain to South Gloucestershire.
“The event was a great success and had a fantastic atmosphere. Despite the very hot weather, thousands of residents lined the route to cheer the riders on as they raced past.
“Thanks to residents and those travelling through, or visiting the area, for respecting the temporary road closures and parking suspensions.
“We hope that the excitement of the race has inspired more people to get out on their bikes to enjoy the local area and support the Big Switch to more active travel.”
Yate Mayor Cheryl Kirby said: “I was thrilled to see the Tour of Britain pass through Yate.
“It was a fantastic spectacle and was enjoyed by the many who lined the route to watch.”
A Tour of Britain spokesperson said: “The stage was a great success, with fantastic crowds right along the route, from the start in Tewkesbury to the finish in Gloucester, enjoying the race in the great weather.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their support of the race through Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, and for providing such amazing support for the riders.”
In the race itself, overall leader Wout van Aert missed out on a stage victory in Gloucester when he was caught within 850 metres of the finish line.
Norwegian Rasmus Tiller, of the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, won the stage – but Belgian van Aert, of the Jumbo-Visma team, went on to win the overall race the next day.
Top picture: The Tour of Britain peloton emerges from the crowds in Chipping Sodbury High Street, led by Wout van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma team, on the day the elite cycle race passed through South Gloucestershire.