SOUTHEND is getting ready to host a top cycle race next week.

The Tour Series is going to ten cities across the UK and comes to Western Esplanade on Thursday, June 25.

The road will be closed between Maxims Casino and Adventure Island on the seafront.

Starting at 7pm the cyclists will race on a 1.4km-long course.

The event will be shown on ITV4 from 7pm to 8pm on Friday.

Organisers say the race is one hour of intense, fast-paced racing with thrills and spills.

But traders have voiced fears about the event, which they fear will hurt their businesses.

Mark Marriott, of Marriott’s fish and chip shop, said: “On Sunday, when there was the all-day, family cycle ride, only 36 riders turned up, while the road was closed. A lot of the people with businesses on the seafront were really angry and asked for the event to be stopped and the road reopened.”

One team in the race, the BMC team, will feature two riders from Southend, Dean Shannon, 29, and Andy Lyons, 39.

For information about the cycle race go to the website