EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the UK’s most prestigious cycle race coming to Southend.

The Tour of Britain is set to take place between September 3 and 10 – with the start of stage six being hosted in Southend.

It will see more than 100 of the world’s leading riders take part in an eight-stage event.

Dan Rodgers, founder of Rayleigh Mountain Bike Club, insisted the Tour of Britain will bring a host of benefits and could inspire the next generation of cyclists. 

He said: “It is great to see any form of cycling coming to south Essex.

“Sadly, despite its popularity in Essex, the support for cycling from local authorities is amongst the lowest in the country.

“But, with the Tour of Britain coming to the area next month as well as the Hadleigh Park Cross-Triathlon, there will be some really exciting opportunities for communities in south Essex to see some great racing locally.”

Kevin Buck, councillor responsible for transport, will be attending the start of the race.

He said: “I am really existed at the prospect of the Tour of Britain race coming to Southend.

“We have of course, previously hosted a leg of the Women’s race, so this is very welcome news.

“I shall be attending the start of the race and am very much looking forward to it. 

“It is an opportunity to showcase Southend to the millions who will be watching, and I am very proud that we have been able to accommodate a leg of the Tour of Britain here.

“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work that councillor Dan Nelson has put in to ensuring both the Women’s and the Men’s race comes to Southend.

“I would encourage as many as possible to line the streets and show your support for this very prestigious event.”

Southend has never previously hosted the modern Tour, which will be shown live in the UK on ITV4 and in more than 150 countries worldwide.

The event coming to Southend follows the success of the Women’s Tour  Tour of Britain’s sister event  coming to the city in 2021.