Thousands line Banburyshire roads to cheer on Tour of Britain cyclists

Thousands of people came out to cheer on the elite cyclists taking part in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain as it passed through Banburyshire today (Wednesday, September 5).

Some of the world's best cyclists including Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome zoomed through Warwickshire on the tour's fourth stage.

A huge crowd gathered at Burton Dassett Hills to see the Tour of Britain riders. Photo: Simon Wilkinson

A huge crowd gathered at Burton Dassett Hills to see the Tour of Britain riders. Photo: Simon Wilkinson

Nearly every road in south Warwickshire had someone waiting to spur them on while hundreds gathered at the top of the climbs, especially at Burton Dassett Hills for the spectacular view.

Jane and Chris Brennan from Kidlington came early with camping chairs with their grandson Daniel Wiggins, five, to get a good spot of the action by the path.

Chris said: "It was terrific to see the race up close again, we watched it last year in Islip and that was great, this year a different scene and it's great to be up here."

A team of five from Team Cherwell triathlon club came to see the event and get some practice in the at the same time by cycling from Banbury.

An eagle-eyed supporter got a snap of 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas near Sibford

An eagle-eyed supporter got a snap of 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas near Sibford

Heidi Yates from the team said they were very fast: "We've been up this hill quite a few times and they just made it look like a flat piece of road but that's why they're professional and we aren't!"

While Julie and Stephen Bennett and their friend Claire Richards travelled from Leicestershire to watch the race from Burton Dassett, having seen the start in Nuneaton.

Stephen said: "We're pretty big cycling fans but I think it's always worth supporting the Tour of Britain. There's so many cyclists up here which can only be good for the sport."

Starting in Nuneaton, the 115 riders headed south through Kenilworth before reaching our neck of the woods, passing through Ettington and Ilmington before the first King of the Mountains section.

The riders zoom through Kineton. Photo: Simon Wilkinson

The riders zoom through Kineton. Photo: Simon Wilkinson

They swang back east and headed through Shipston, Brailes, the Tysoes and Kineton before the second major climb at Edgehill.

The pack then headed north to the Kineton barracks, over the M40 and up Burton Dassett Hills for the final KotM, where hundreds of people were waiting to clap and ring cowbells in celebration.

It was mostly downhill from there as the cyclists went through Fenny Compton and up to Southam to finish in Leamington Spa.

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the stage ahead of Sacha Modolo (Team EF Education First Drapac p/b Cannondale) and green jersey wearer Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing Team), who extended his lead at the top of the standings.

Greipel’s win, coming at the end of a 183.5-kilometre stage that started in Nuneaton, was his seventh in Tour of Britain race history.

"My aim was to go full gas from the final corner, even though it was 300m from line – I knew that I could make it. I’m happy with another win," he said.

A six-rider break was the main feature of the stage, with Madison Genesis’ Matt Holmes taking out all three Eisberg Sprints to move into the red jersey, while Nicholas Dlamini (Team Dimension Data) retook the King of the Mountains jersey from his team-mate Scott Davies.

Hundreds came for the amazing view of the race and south Warwickshire at Burton Dassett Hills

Hundreds came for the amazing view of the race and south Warwickshire at Burton Dassett Hills

The final remnants of the group were reeled in on the fast approach to Leamington Spa to set up a thrilling sprint finish, with Greipel taking a comfortable victory ahead of Modolo, and overall contender Bevin.

The peloton struggle up Edgehill. Photo: Simon Wilkinson

The peloton struggle up Edgehill. Photo: Simon Wilkinson

Stephen and Julie (centre) Bennett and Claire Richards came from Leicestershire to see the race

Stephen and Julie (centre) Bennett and Claire Richards came from Leicestershire to see the race

Team Cherwell triathlon club members came to support the race at Burton Dassett Hills

Team Cherwell triathlon club members came to support the race at Burton Dassett Hills

Chris and Jane Brennan with their grandson Daniel Wiggins, five, had pathside seats at Burton Dassett Hills

Chris and Jane Brennan with their grandson Daniel Wiggins, five, had pathside seats at Burton Dassett Hills