Wirral will host both the start and finish of stage five of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, on Wednesday 11 September. 

In just over 100 days’ time Birkenhead Park will welcome the world’s top riders for a spectacular, fan friendly day of racing.

Where and when?

Stage five will start and finish in the park, a location synonymous with the domestic cycling scene in the North West for a number of years. 

The route will also pass through the finish line within the park before completing a lap of Birkenhead and Wallasey, giving spectators three chances to see the race in action, while also having the opportunity to follow flag-to-flag coverage throughout the day on big screens within the Tour Village.

This 174-kilometre (108-mile) stage will help celebrate the Wirral’s year as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture, showcasing the area’s history, heritage and beautiful coastlines. Riders will leave Wirral via the historic Port Sunlight and race through Cheshire West and Chester, including passing the Airbus UK manufacturing facility at Broughton.

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

Stage five will feature three intermediate Eisberg sprints, sponsored by the UK’s number one alcohol-free wine brand Eisberg, at Heswall, Hoylake and Birkenhead Park. The day’s three SKODA King of the Mountains climbs come at Kelsall in Cheshire, before the short ascent of Flaybrick Hill in Birkenhead is tackled twice during the race finale.

This announcement comes just over a week after Wirral Council successfully hosted a round of the OVO Energy Tour Series for the first time, with Hamilton Square in Birkenhead welcoming elite men’s and women’s racing, attracting over 10,000 spectators.

Reaction to the news

Cllr Christine Spriggs, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism at Wirral Council said: “This year Wirral is the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture. We’ve got a hugely exciting programme of events lined up, and the OVO Energy Tour of Britain is the jewel in our crown. Wirral truly does have something for everyone and it’s no wonder our visitor numbers get bigger every year.  

“It was only last week when we welcomed more than 10,000 cycling fans to Hamilton Square for a fantastic Tour Series event. I hope everyone who enjoyed that event, and thousands more, get down to Birkenhead Park in September for another not-to-be missed event. It’s such an exciting time for our borough and we can’t wait to welcome the world’s best cyclists to Birkenhead Park.”

Commenting on the stage, OVO Energy Tour Series Race Director Mick Bennett added: “Everyone saw the support that the OVO Energy Tour Series generated in Birkenhead and now we are looking forward to making an even bigger impact with the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

“Since we announced in January that the race would be coming to Wirral we have had amazing support from Wirral Council and their partners, plus a great reception from the Merseyside public.  I am sure this is going to be a memorable stage with incredible community support across the route.”

Downloads and links

Click here to visit the stage five hub | Click here to explore the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain route