The City of Southend-on-Sea proudly hosted the start of stage six of the Tour of Britain professional men’s race earlier today.
Thousands of people lined the streets and cheered the riders on from the start line on Western Esplanade between Robertos and the Three Shells. Riders in action included Wout van Aert (Belgium), Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) and winner of the first four stages, Olav Kooij.
Stage six covered Thorpe Esplanade, Marine Parade and Ness Road, passing many Southend landmarks and Blue Flag beaches, before leaving the city and weaving through the rural roads of Great Wakering, Rochford and Stock before eventually finishing in Harlow.
The multi-stage road cycling race comprises eight stages covering the length and breadth of Great Britain. With stage one starting in northern England, the race has already passed through Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, and now Southend and Essex today. The final two stages take place in Gloucestershire and South Wales.
Cllr Daniel Nelson, cabinet member for economic growth and investment, said: “I am delighted that Southend has successfully hosted the start of stage six of the Tour of Britain race today, and seeing the people of Southend come out in force to line the streets, enjoy the event, and support the riders, was so great to see!
“As well as putting Southend on the world stage and showcasing the beauty of our seafront, beaches and attractions, it has also boosted our economy just as the Women's Tour did in 2021. The sunshine also attracted lots of people to the seafront.
“Southend is proving it can live up to its city status and host prestigious events like this. September has been a big month of events and festivals for Southend with City Jam, Tour of Britain and the conclusion of Herd in the City. October is going to be just as exciting with the return of the Halloween Parade, the seafront fireworks and the Southend Jazz Festival.
“All of these events play a vital role in reinvigorating our city and we want Southend to be a vibrant, safe and fun place to visit and being so close to London, I think we can fully establish our city as the next exciting place to be.”
Photos and videos from the morning can be seen on our Flickr page.