Thousands turn out to welcome Tour of Britain to Mansfield
and live on Freeview channel 276
Stage five of the cross-Britain stage race – from West Bridgford to Mansfield, was snatched by Belgium's Jordi Meeus in a nail-biting final 100m outside Mansfield Civic Centre on Thursday, September 8, just hours before the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Runner-up in the stage was Poland's Stanisław Aniołkowski, while British favourite Tom Pidcock who was third after a gruelling 118 miles through Nottinghamshire, visting places including Ravenshead, Blidworth, Edwinstowe, Warsop and Mansfield Woodhouse – Mansfield’s Ross Lamb came 35th.
British rider Alex Dowsett – competing in his 11th and final Tour of Britain before retirement, said the relatively flat stage was ‘quite easy’ compared with the previous four days.
Describing how he is always proud to show off his country to his international team-mates, the 33-year-old Israel–Premier Tech rider said: “Racing on home soil is always special. I’ve seen the surge in interest in cycling after London 2012 and the 2014 Tour de France.”
Crowds lined the finish line and packed out the adjacent Tour ‘village’ at Chesterfield Road Park, where entertainment included a have-a-go BMX track, live music and various sporting activities, alongside stalls and refreshments.
It was the third time that Mansfield had welcomed the event after hosting a stage start in 2017 and a stage finish in 2018.
Adam Hill, Mansfield Council chief executive officer, said: “What a fabulous event. It was great to see so many people enjoying the atmosphere at the festival finale“An event like this is a really big deal for the area and it takes months of careful preparation and hard work to achieve.”The race began in Aberdeen on Sunday, September 4, and had been due to finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, September 11.
However, after the announcement of Her Majesty’s death, race organisers cancelled the rest of the Tour.
A Tour spokesman said: “The final standings will be taken following the conclusion of stage five. The winner of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain 2022 is Gonzalo Serrano.
“Additionally, the respective classification leaders – Tom Pidcock (Dodl by AJ Bell points), Mathijs Paasschens (ŠKODA King of the Mountains) and Matthew Teggart (Sportsbreaks.com Sprints) – will also be declared the winners of those competitions.
“The Tour of Britain organisation, alongside the teams, riders and officials involved in the event, send their deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this sad time.”