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Thousands cheer on Tour of Britain to sprint finish at iconic Golden Gates

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UPDATED:THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Warrington cheering on more than 100 cyclists in the Stage Five sprint finish of the Tour of Britain at the town’s iconic gates.

Villagers lined the route from Stretton, to Appleton Thorn, through Stockton Heath and around town as hundreds more witnessed the sprint finish at the town hall as Tour leader Ethan Hayter became the first British rider to win a stage of the national tour since Ian Stannard in 2018!




The riders cycled over both the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey before finishing Stage five with a rapid straight flat run outside of the town’s iconic Grade II listed Golden Gates, which have been in place since 1895.
Rescheduled to 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 17th edition of the UK’s most prestigious stage race covers 1,320 kilometres (820 miles) of racing.
Cllr Russ Bowden, Leader of Warrington Borough Council said: “We believe hosting stage 5 of the race brings many opportunities – bringing new visitors to our town, celebrating sporting excellence and showcasing the very best of Warrington.
“I am very proud that Warrington is part of this providing us with major prestigious addition to our sporting calendar for everyone to enjoy.”
One of the 107 cyclists taking part knew his way around town better than most. Lymm-born Matthew Gibson is a former Warrington Road Club rider who now competes for the Ribble-Weldite team.
The 25-year-old’s best finish so far has been 14th in Stage Two between Sherford and Exeter on Monday while he helped his Ribble-Weldite team to 8th place in the team time trial on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, some town centre businesses have entered into the spirit of the occasion including Boutique by Nice & Naughty on Sankey Street.
Emma Humphreys, Chief Executive Officer said: “As a local business we are excited and ready to show our support & encouragement to the cyclists of the Tour of Britain during their route through the heart of Warrington.
“We felt that it was important after the past 18 months to show that Covid 19 has not beaten us and that we are as a business, town and country, hopefully on our way back to normality with events like this now being held.”
LocaL organisations made up a tented village on the town hall lawns to help create a carnival atmosphere which also carried on intot he town centre after the race finished.

The riders in Stockton Heath – Picture Karen Dakin

Picture Eddie Whitham

Picture Eddie Whitham

Picture Eddie Whitham

Picture Eddie Whitham

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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