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DFP – Header
8 September 2023
Looping around the Essex countryside, the second day of the Tour of Britain’s eastern doubleheader is a spectator-friendly stage between Southend-on-Sea and Harlow.
After rolling out from Southend’s Western Esplanade, in the shadows of the city’s historic pier, the first 65 kilometres loop around the towns of Rochford, South Woodham Ferrers, and Burnham-on-Crouch, offering fans the opportunity to catch the peloton at multiple locations.
The route then commences its westerly path towards Harlow, initially running parallel to the River Blackwater, and then through Ingatestone, which is regularly named as one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.
Stage six finishes on Third Avenue, where Lorena Wiebes triumphed on day two of last year’s Women’s Tour.
Southend-on-Sea – Western Esplanade 11:45am
South Woodham Ferrers 12:49pm
Ship Road (category three) 2:23pm
North Weald Bassett 3:06pm
Harlow – Third Avenue 3:28pm
Click here for the full stage timetable
Host venue for the first time
Known for having the world’s longest pleasure pier, Southend-on-Sea has seven miles of coastline – including five Blue Flag beaches – stretching from Shoeburyness to Leigh-on-Sea. The seaside resort has a rich and vibrant cultural offering including various museums, art galleries and the Cliffs Pavilion theatre.
Stage six will start on Southend’s coastline along the Western Esplanade. Spectators – and riders, if they wish – will be treated to a great choice of independent cafes and restaurants located between the cliffs, and the shore boasting excellent views across the Thames Estuary.
The route will also pass one of the city’s most famous landmarks: Southend Pier, which to this day remains the longest pleasure pier in the world, stretching out 1.33 miles out into the sea.
While this is the first time that the Tour of Britain will visit Southend, the city hosted the final of the inaugural edition of the Tour Series circuit race event in 2009, as well as a stage finish of the Women’s Tour in 2021.
Host venue for the first time
Located on the Essex – Hertfordshire border, Harlow maintains a rural atmosphere, with over one third of land use devoted to parks, woodlands, ponds and open spaces. While it is well known for being one of the New Towns established following the end of World War II, the first written record of Harlow was in the Domesday Book of 1086. The mill that was named in the entry survives to this day.
Early settlements from the prehistoric age through to Roman times add to the history of the area. A number of 17th and 18th century dwellings can still be found in Harlow, located alongside modern housing developments. The beautiful landscape of the surrounding countryside and the town’s many attractive parks – there are eight conservation areas, including Mark Hall North, which are designated as areas of special architectural or historic interest – all combine to enhance Harlow’s ‘green town’ reputation.
Harlow is also home to over 100 public sculptures, many of which stemmed from its status as a New Town. In 2009 Harlow Council celebrated these installations by branding the town as the world’s first sculpture town.
Harlow will make its Tour of Britain debut in September, a little over a year on from welcoming its sister race, the Women’s Tour. That stage started in the Harlow Innovation Park, a new destination for business focusing on all areas of science, technology, research and innovation. This forward-thinking development is already in the process of creating a collaborative, progressive sci-tech community as part of the Harlow Enterprise Zone.
There’s no better way of watching the action at this year’s Tour of Britain than with our hospitality packages!
Secure a front-row seat at our stage starts and finishes, topped off with delicious food and drinks specifically chosen for cycling fans.
Fans can now book their hospitality passes for the Southend-on-Sea start and Harlow finish via Sportsbreaks.com, the official hospitality partner of the Tour of Britain.
Additionally, our expert team can build bespoke packages throughout the Tour to suit your needs. Contact Seb Roberts for more information.