CYCLING’S elite went wheel to wheel in Warwickshire today.
The county played host to the fourth stage of the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain, which included among its field Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.
The 183 kilometre route took the riders from Nuneaton and through the north Warwickshire countryside and towards Meriden, before they
headed south, passing Kenilworth and Warwick castles, en route to the outskirts of Stratford.
The riders then faced three climbs – an ascent of more than 1,700 metres – at Ilmington, followed by others at Edge Hill and Burton Dassett Country Park.
The race then continued through Moreton Morrell, Wellesbourne, Kineton, Tysoe, Shipston, Fenny Compton, and Southam, and then before reaching the finishing in Leamington outside the Royal Spa Centre theatre.
The stage victory was claimed by Andre Greipel, with New Zealander Patrick Bevin holding onto the overall lead at the half way stage of the race which finishes in London on Sunday.
There was a party atmosphere in Leamington where people lined the route to get a glimpse of the riders as they sped by.
Warwick District Council also organised a cycling celebration in Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens, close to the finishing line, to greet the tour, which included a big screen, inflatables and food.
Highlights of today’s stage can be seen on ITV4 at 8pm
All photos – SWPix.