A schoolgirl from Flintshire, Wales, will have the honour of starting stage five of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Wednesday 11 September.

As the winner of a start flag design competition sponsored by Airbus UK, eight-year-old Maddison from Hawarden Village Church School, will see her winning design made into the official start flag for stage five of Britain’s most prestigious cycle race.

She will be invited to wave her flag to start the riders off as they begin the 174km route, which starts and ends in Birkenhead Park. Two runners up from the competition will also be invited to the event.

The competition attracted over 30 entries from schoolchildren near Airbus UK’s Broughton factory, which will feature on the Tour of Britain route. The entries were judged by representatives of Airbus, race organisers SweetSpot, Wirral Council and Madison Genesis rider Mike Cuming.

Stage five details

Explore stage five of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain with our animated fly-through map

It will be the first time that the Tour of Britain has come to Wirral, with the race being a sporting highlight of its Borough of Culture year. The route will see some of the world’s top riders pass through the historic Port Sunlight and into Cheshire West and Chester, notably passing the Airbus manufacturing facility at Broughton.

The route will return to Wirral via Heswall, Caldy and Hoylake, before passing through the Birkenhead Park finish line and taking in a loop through Seacombe, Wallasey and New Brighton.

The Wirral stage of OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Wednesday 11 September is supported by Airbus, Cambrianway, Mott McDonald and Amey Consulting.

Tour of Britain Wirral

Some of the entries on display at Airbus UK, Broughton.

What they said

Cheshire-based pro Cuming said: “There were some great entries – the quality of them was incredible. It was really tough to pick a winner, but we got there in the end. Maddison’s design was a worthy choice and I hope she has a fantastic day when she starts stage five in Wirral in September.”

 Airbus employee and keen cyclist Simon Roberts added: “We are proud to sponsor the Wirral stage of the Tour of Britain this year and delighted to have been able to involve our local schools through this flag competition. Congratulations to all the entrants and to Maddison for her winning design.”

Cllr Christine Spriggs, Cabinet Member for Culture & Visitor Economy at Wirral Council commented: “The Tour of Britain is going to be a really special event which will inspire a new generation of cyclists and encourage everyone to get on their bikes.

“Through our partnership with Airbus, we’ve been able to see the creativity and enthusiasm of youngsters for the race coming to their local area, and the response was brilliant. It will be great to see Maddison waving her winning design at the start line on Wednesday 11 September.”

Downloads and links

Click here to visit the stage five hub | Click here to download a stage five leaflet (PDF)