World Champion cyclist Lizzie Armitstead, Sir Bradley Wiggins and other elite cyclists will be greeted by streets bedecked in yellow when the Tour de Yorkshire visits Nottinghamshire next weekend, April 30.
Millions of people will watch on TV as some of the top cyclists of our generation pass through Harworth and Bircotes as they compete in the men’s and women’s race.
Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw District Council, Harworth and Bircotes Town Council, local groups including the local tenants’ and residents’ association, and other local people and businesses, are taking part in the celebrations.
Bicycles will be painted yellow and mounted onto roofs, along with yellow T-shirts and bunting being hung up and lamp post banners in tribute to local cycling legend Tom Simpson on display.
Tour organisers were keen to visit as a tribute to Simpson who tragically lost his life during the Tour de France in July 1967. He had grown up in Harworth, joining Harworth and District Cycling Club as a teenager, becoming one of the UK’s most decorated cyclists before his sudden death.
Nottinghamshire County Council Leader Councillor Alan Rhodes said: “Nottinghamshire is proud to welcome the Tour de Yorkshire to Harworth and Bircotes. It will be a real honour for everyone to watch some of the top cyclists of our time in action during the races as we pay tribute to cycling legend Tom Simpson. The whole community is looking forward to celebrating this great occasion.”
Councilor Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council said: “It’s fantastic that the Tour de Yorkshire is able to recognise and pay homage to one of Great Britain’s greatest cyclists, Tom Simpson, as Stage Two of the race passes through his childhood home of Harworth and Bircotes. It will be a proud day for local residents and cycling fans in Bassetlaw.”
On April 30, Harworth and Bircotes sports and social club will be open for people to visit the Tom Simpson Museum. Memorabilia includes racing kit – shirt, shorts, gloves and cap.
Both races will enter Bassetlaw, the northern most district of Nottinghamshire, and enter Harworth and Bircotes along Tickhill Road, travelling through the linear style rows of shops, businesses, parks, social clubs and houses on Scrooby Road. Cyclists will travel past the Tom Simpson memorial stone, before leaving the town via the A614 to Doncaster.
The women’s race is due to enter the town at 11.28am. The men’s race is due to enter the town at 4.57pm. It is the stretch of the route between Tickhill and Bawtry, find out more on timings: www.letour.yorkshire.com/timings
Other highlights on the day include Bircotes Leisure Centre encouraging people to take part in organised leisure and fitness activities on the recreation ground at Scrooby Road, a display from Harworth Archery Club, Harworth and Bircotes Cycling Club displaying 1965 club colours, and the local children’s centre helping with refreshments on the day.
June Evans, Chairman of Harworth and Bircotes Town Council, which is organising the community celebrations, said: “The profile of our town will be raised and local people, neighbours, groups and business are working hard in the run-up to the race to prepare for this superb event which is also a fitting tribute to Tom Simpson.”
Last year’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire race was watched by an estimated 1m people and brought £50m into the region’s economy. The event was launched after Yorkshire hosted the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014.
In terms of the overall race, the Tour de Yorkshire event organisers will manage rolling road closures lasting no more than an hour, apart from the start and finish lines and some climbs where the road closures will be longer. Road closures will be managed by the police and Doncaster Council will be announced nearer the race weekend.
The race is being organised by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) and Welcome to Yorkshire - supported by local authorities in and around the Yorkshire area. Find out more by visiting: www.letour.yorkshire.com.