Fans of two-wheel sport will be able to rely on four wheels to see the biggest names in the cycling world when they come to Warwickshire next month.
Stage seven of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain takes place in Warwickshire and is set to stage a thrilling hill top finish in the south of the county.
The star-studded field – which is set to include stars of this year’s Tour De France – will complete two gruelling 12-kilometre circuits around Burton Dassett before crossing the finishing line at the end of the 185-kilometre course on the third ascent of the 700-metre climb.
Organisers believe the climax to the stage on Friday September 13th, will be one of the highlights of the whole event and are expecting big crowds on the country park hill top.
Warwickshire-based Johnsons Coaches has teamed up with Warwickshire County Council and the British Motor Museum to put on a free park and ride service to allow as many spectators to watch the action.
The company is laying on the service free of charge, and the museum is allowing free parking. Buses will run every 15 minutes from around 10.30am to 2pm. It will resume to take spectators back to their cars at the museum once the podium presentations have concluded.
Johnsons have donated their time and vehicles free of charge – but the man who made the gesture will not be on board.
John Johnson who runs the family-run firm, which was founded in 1909, will be cycling the route and is a keen rider.
“I am an avid cyclist so was more than happy to help when the council mentioned that the finish was going to be at Burton Dassett,” he said.
“The course is tight and steep which is what makes it so exciting but that also makes it tricky for vehicles and there is not much room to park on the top of the hill.
“The site is perfect for spectators to really appreciate the efforts of the riders and it would be great for the area for the television cameras to see the hillside full of spectators and hopefully we can help make that happen.”
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour followed the same route in the closing stages but was blighted by poor weather.
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, the leader of Warwickshire County Council, is hoping the event will increase the reputation of the area as a cycling hotspot.
She said: “To again have the men’s and women’s OVO Energy Tours both holding a stage in the county is fantastic and we think the summit finish at Burton Dassett will be a highlight of what should be a great week.
“We would love as many people as possible to come and see the start at Warwick Racecourse and then the finish in Burton Dassett. Warwickshire has developed a reputation for bringing big crowds to the roadside during the event, and this stage finish is perfect for cycling fans to watch the action.”