Cheltenham will host the finish of the penultimate stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain this September, as the world’s top professional cyclists race through the Cotswolds to arrive in the historic spa town on Saturday 9 September.

Stage Seven of Britain’s premier road cycling event will start in Hemel Hempstead, crossing Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire before passing through the likes of Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh and Winchcombe.

The stage will be tackling the SKODA King of the Mountains climb on Cleeve Hill inside the final 10-kilometres, before finishing in the centre of Cheltenham, the first time that the town will have hosted the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

Tim Atkins, managing director of place and economic development for Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “We are proud to host the penultimate stage finish of the Tour this September. We know the event is enjoyed by huge numbers of visitors and we’re looking forward to welcoming cycling fans to Cheltenham to witness the excitement here first-hand.

“The event will showcase Cheltenham and will be a great platform for the promotion of cycling, particularly highlighting  Cheltenham as a great town for all types of cycling and promote its important relationship with the Cotswolds as a touring destination.

“We will be running a programme of community cycling events over the summer that will take place across the town in the lead up to the event in September. We want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in this fun activity, promoting the wider health and environmental benefits.”

Andy Sanders from Cotswolds Tourism partnership stated “The Cotswolds is a superb place for visitors and cyclists of all abilities, offering wonderful countryside, attractions and plenty of cafes and pubs for refreshment.  The towns and picturesque villages along the route will be excited to welcome the race and we know it will generate lots of interest in cycling now and into the future. We are hoping that businesses and communities will engage in the event and it will showcase all the area has to offer”.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain has passed through Gloucestershire during the 2014 and 2016 editions of the race, but this September will mark the first time a stage has finished in the county.

Commenting on Stage Seven, OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said; “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain has passed through Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds on a number of occasions, but this will be the first stage to finish in the area.  The race will showcase the area’s beautiful scenery before finishing in the centre of the spa town of Cheltenham.

“On paper the stage may look deceptive, as there are a number of short climbs that as a similar stage in 2014 proved could upset the order of the General Classification and change the OVO Energy Green Jersey heading into the final stage.”

OVO Energy, the UK’s top rated independent energy supplier was recently announced as the title sponsor of the Tour of Britain.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step, taking place between Sunday 3 and Sunday 10 September 2017.