The cream of world cycling talent will ride around Pendle and the Ribble Valley on Monday.
Pendle and the Ribble Valley’s hosting of Stage Two of the Tour of Britain on Monday will see some of the globe’s biggest cycling names take on the little lanes and crunching climbs of the neighbouring boroughs, none bigger than Sir Bradley Wiggins, who is leading Team Wiggins.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to watch the race and fans who have waited months for the big day should not be disappointed with the best ever line-up in the event’s history.
Nine of the world’s leading cycling teams will roll off the start line in Clitheroe at 11am arriving into Colne 99 arduous miles later, having completed 9,000ft. of ascent.
Cannondale - Garmin (USA), Etixx Quick-Step (Belgium), BMC Racing (USA), IAM Cycling (Switzerland), Lotto Soudal (Belgium), Movistar Team (Spain), Team Lotto NL Jumbo (Netherlands), Team Sky (Great Britain) and Tinkoff - Saxo (Russia) are the World Tour teams entering. Those nine, plus Pro Continental team MTN Qhubeka (South Africa), won 13 of the 21 stages in the Tour de France this year.
Fans will also be able to cheer on the “Manx Missile” Mark Cavendish, who will lead the Etixx Quick-Step team alongside Zdenek Stybar, and Cavendish will go toe to toe with German sprint rival Andre Greipel, winner of four Tour de France stages, who leads the Lotto Soudal team.
Rising American star Taylor Phinney, fourth in the London Olympic road race in 2012, is in BMC’s roster while Dylan Van Baarle of Team Cannondale - Garmin returns to defend his 2014 crown and 2008 Tour of Britain champion Edvald Boasson Hagen rides for MTN Qhubeka.
The 20 teams taking part will be joined by an additional rider on the first King of the Mountains climb, the Nick o’ Pendle, where a giant cyclist is to be constructed from 1,500 metres of horticultural fleece by Barrowford land artist Philippe Handford. The size of one-and-a-half football pitches, it will be sculpted on Pendle Hill this week.