Hemel Hempstead will welcome the return of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain this September, as the penultimate stage of the race begins in the town on Saturday 9 September.

Stage Seven will begin in Hemel Hempstead, bringing 120 of the world’s top professional cyclists to Dacorum. The stage will head from Hemel Town Centre up in to Maylands Avenue and make its way to Long Marston before moving out into Buckinghamshire.  The leg will cross the Cotswolds, finishing in Cheltenham.

Sally Marshall, Chief Executive of Dacorum Borough Council said: “We are honoured to welcome the tour back to the borough. Dacorum successfully hosted the Tour of Britain in 2014 and it’s great to have the event back – especially as the penultimate stage of the race will start in Hemel Hempstead. We hope to see thousands of visitors in the town centre and along the route, and are sure it will inspire residents of all ages to get active.

“There will also be opportunities for everyone, whatever their ability, to get involved in community cycling events organised by Get Set Go Dacorum, in the lead up to the event in September. This year is proving to be a memorable one for Hemel Hempstead – as well as welcoming the tour we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of becoming a New Town and the completion of our £30m Hemel Evolution project which has transformed the town centre.”

The last time the OVO Energy Tour of Britain visited Hemel Hempstead and Dacorum was in 2014, when a memorable Stage Six finished in the town, seeing Britain’s Alex Dowesett pull on the race leader’s jersey.  Hemel Hempstead also hosted the finish of The Women’s Tour in 2015.

Mick Bennett, Race Director of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, said: “After the success of the men’s stage finish in 2014 and the finale of the Women’s Tour in 2015, we are delighted to bring a start of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain to Hemel Hempstead.

“Coming on a Saturday morning, we are sure this will be a popular start for spectators, while the route through Dacorum and across the Ashridge Estate is very picturesque.”

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.