Massive crowds are expected to descend on the Lincolnshire Wolds this weekend as the area gears up to stage one of British cycling’s premier events.
A weekend of action - based in Louth but taking in virtually the entire Wolds - has attracted many of the biggest names in cycling, led by Dame Sarah Storey.
She is one of the many stars competing in the nationally ranked Tour of the Wolds - a brand new event for 2017.
It follows on from the success of the National Cycling Championships in 2015 when the time trials were held at Cadwell Park near Louth.
Sunday will include men’s and women’s elite races, with the highlight of Saturday being a ‘cycle sportive’ - open to riders of all abilities.
Already, cyclists from a number of local clubs have entered ready for Saturday.
The weekend format is as follows:
Saturday April 8
Tour Of The Wolds Sportive starting in Louth.
The routes take in some of the UK’s quietest roads on the eastern side of the Lincolnshire Wolds, throughout Saturday morning.
There are four distances for sportive riders - 91, 78, 54 and 30 miles,
Entry fees are £30 for the longer distances and £22 for the 30 mile ride.
Sunday April 9 –
9.30am - Tour Of The Wolds (Women)
The Women’s Tour Of The Wolds is a Womens Road Series event held over 62 miles, including 3,450ft of climbing. The ideal scene for some classic early season action from the top women riders in the UK.
Sunday April 9
12.30 – Tour Of The Wolds (Men)
The Men’s Tour Of The Wolds is a Spring Cup Series event held over 102 miles, including 4,900ft of climbing.
A tough course and some inclement April weather could see some epic conditions and a tough day in the saddle for Britain’s top riders.
There are various courses in operation for the Saturday and Sunday events although all the races will start and finish in Louth.
The pro-action features a course stretching from Louth to as far north as Caistor and bumper crowds are expected to line the route.
Organisers, though, are predicting a bumper weekend for all business with reports of accommodation being booked weeks in advance.
Apart from the riders, the respective teams in the elite races will be bringing an ‘army’ of support staff.
The event is also being covered live on TV, prompting officials to hope the two days of action delivers a massive boost in terms of tourism.
*Entries for the Sportif events can only be made on line and close tomorrow (Thursday).
*All details of races - and where to see the action - are available at http://www.tourofthewolds.co.uk
*Various road closures - and parking arrangements - will also be in force. Again, details are on te tour website.