Cat and Fid­dle to be part of big cy­cle race

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

THE most dan­ger­ous road in the bor­ough will form a gru­elling sec­tion of the coun­try’s big­gest cy­cle race.

The Cat and Fid­dle A537 is ex­pected to be one of the tough­est parts of the Tour of Bri­tain, which has to­day con­firmed its route will pass through the town.

Fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful bid by Cheshire East Coun­cil, the eight day tour will come to the area on Stage three of the tour, start­ing in Con­gle­ton and fin­ish­ing at Tat­ton Park, and tak­ing in a 10.5kilo­me­tre climb up to the Cat and Fid­dle pub.

Mac­cles­field res­i­dents, who last hosted the event in 2012, will be able to watch dozens of elite rid­ers as they whizz past on Septem­ber 6.

Top rid­ers such as Sir Bradley Wig­gins and Mark Cavendish have com­peted in the past, but the com­plete line-up for 2016 will not be known un­til nearer the event.

Newly elected coun­cil leader, Rachel Bai­ley, said: “We feel truly priv­i­leged to be host­ing this won­der­ful spec­ta­cle in the bor­ough and de­lighted that the Tour has se­lected Cheshire East to host this third stage of what is a cap­ti­vat­ing sport­ing event. In Cheshire East we have well over 200 miles of cy­cle routes, in­clud­ing 167 miles of Na­tional Cy­cle Net­work, plus traf­fic-free routes. All this is tes­ta­ment to our com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing this ac­tiv­ity for fam­i­lies and to the en­thu­si­asm shown by our res­i­dents and cy­cling clubs. We hope that this event will in­spire many oth­ers to take up cy­cling, whether for sport or leisure.”

Race di­rec­tor Mick Ben­nett, said: “Cheshire East of­fers com­peti­tors the gen­tly rolling roads of the Cheshire Plain with some key climbs such as the Cat and Fid­dle, and we are work­ing with our part­ners at Cheshire East Coun­cil to bring the Tour of Bri­tain to as many of the com­mu­ni­ties in the bor­ough as pos­si­ble.”

David Higham, from Mac­cles­field Wheel­ers’, said: “It’s fan­tas­tic news.

“It will show­case the area to mil­lions of peo­ple on TV, boost the lo­cal econ­omy and give lo­cals the chance to see the world’s top cy­clists in ac­tion at close quar­ters.

“Al­though the stage starts in Con­gle­ton and fin­ishes in Tat­ton Park, Mac­cles­field will be the cen­tre of most of the rac­ing ac­tion as the rid­ers tackle sev­eral lo­cal climbs, in­clud­ing the iconic Cat and Fid­dle. Mac­cles­field Wheel­ers and other lo­cal cy­cling clubs will be work­ing with Cheshire East Coun­cil to en­sure that the event helps more peo­ple get out on their bikes, whether for com­mut­ing, leisure or rac­ing.”

The tour runs from Sun­day, Septem­ber 4 to Sun­day, Septem­ber 11, and is the coun­try’s big­gest free spec­ta­tor sport.

The coun­cil will also be host­ing a num­ber of events for peo­ple to get in­volved in ahead of the event.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to keep up to date go to cheshire­tourof­bri­tain. co.uk.

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