Nottinghamshire sets its sights for a Tour de Force
The Leader of the County Council preview the return of the UK’s biggest free-to-attend sporting event which is now just days away, setting off from West Bridgford at 10.30am and due for a thrilling finale in Mansfield around 4pm on Saturday 8 September.
The Tour of Britain is back and I can’t wait to see Nottinghamshire in all its glory, with its hundreds of yellow bikes on display, alongside bunting and flags galore.
I’ve been hearing about the all exciting activities and creative displays which are planned by people getting ready to welcome the world’s best riders such as Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome to our great county.
And this year spectators will stand out in true Nottinghamshire style in a sea of green, as the County Council is providing thousands of robin hood hats. Look out for these along the route on race day.
Nottinghamshire is set to look wonderful from the air, as well as on the ground, as dozens of landart displays are due to be picked out by TV helicopters and seen live by a global TV audience of millions. These include a huge mining-inspired display planned at Bilsthorpe and a special 3D tree designed by a local artist and Sherwood Forest Trust close to the new £6m Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.
We have so many local community groups, schools, businesses and land owners in the running to be crowned winners of the UK’s best Tour of Britain landart.
Around half the entries for this competition are from our county. It really would make the day even more special if the national organisers were to choose a local winner.
These top international cyclists are certain to get a big Nottinghamshire welcome - hopefully one which they will never forget – as well as it being a day which will live long in the memory of the thousands of people expected to line the 215km route, which is the longest stage this year.
Last year more than 210,000 people turned out in force, it would be wonderful if we could top that figure.
So come of Nottinghamshire, grab your flags and wear your robin hood hats with pride.
Let’s show the world we have what it takes to host this major sporting event in style - for the second year running!
Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council