THE world’s cycling elite will be passing through Bristol today as the fourth stage of the Tour of Britain finishes in the city.
Many roads will be closed throughout the afternoon as cyclists including former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and sprint king Mark Cavendish race towards the finishing line on the Downs.
Here are the times at which the riders are expected to reach different points on the route through our area. These minute-by-minute estimated times of arrival could change by about 20 minutes either way, depending on events and conditions on the roads down from the start in Worcester:
2.39pm Iron Acton
2.42pm Turn right onto B4059
2.42pm Turn left onto Latteridge Road
2.44pm B4058 Bristol Road
2.46pm Frampton Cotterell
2.49pm Beacon Lane
2.51pm Winterbourne Road
2.52pm Stoke Gifford
2.54pm Gypsy Patch Lane
2.57pm Gloucester Road
2.58pm Southmead Road
3pm - Pen Park Road
3.02pm - Charlton Road
3.04pm - Crow Lane
3.05pm - Henbury Road
3.06pm - Kings Weston Road
3.10pm - A4162 Sylvan Way
3.10pm - A4 Portway
3.16pm - A4176 Bridge Valley Road
3.18pm - Ladies Mile
3.18pm - Circular Road
3.20pm - Finish Line
Riders will set off from Worcester this morning at 10.45am and will pass through Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire before reaching South Gloucestershire this afternoon.
The Tour of Britain is the UK's biggest professional cycle race and the country's largest free-to-watch sporting event, so it will be a unique chance for Bristol residents to experience professional cycling first-hand.
The Portway is expected to be one of the busiest places for spectators to see the riders jostle for position before the sharp climb up Bridge Valley Road, which will count towards the Skoda King of the Mountains jersey.
The sprinters will contest for the stage victory on Circular Road, on Durdham Downs, which is also where the presentations will be held. There will also be entertainment on the Downs throughout the day, including a live screening of the race, cycling organisation and information stalls, and performances from groups like the Bicycle Ballet Company.
People can also watch at Blaise Castle Estate, which should provide a good view of cyclists speeding along Kings Weston Road for the final 10km of the race.
There’s no doubt that the most exciting vantage points will probably be at the end of the race when the riders turn left off the Portway and take on the steep Bridge Valley Road before finishing on The Downs at Rockleaze.
But if you want to avoid the crowds, there are plenty of other places to see the cyclists in action.
If you want to see them at speed, then anywhere on The Portway would give you a good view.
If you want to see them standing on their brakes, then Shirehampton Road should be a good spot as they come down the hill and turn right at the traffic lights onto Sylvan Way.
Another good spot will be on the A38 dual carriageway just past Filton College as they come up the hill on the approach to the Filton Road roundabout.
If you want to go a further afield, then watch them coming down the steep hill from Cotswold Edge golf club into Wotton-under-Edge or up Horsley Hill which is further up the B4058 on the other side of the escarpment.
Spectators are reminded to stay safe while finding a spot to watch the race, with many pathways alongside the route.
Several roads will be closed this afternoon to allow the race to pass through the city.
Circular Road, Ladies Mile (from its junction with Stoke Road to its junction with Fountain Hill), Fountain Hill, Rockleaze and Downleaze will be closed from 4am to 8pm.
There will be rolling road closures throughout the city to facilitate the rest of the route. The riders are estimated to start arriving in Bristol at around 2.45pm and are expected to have finished by around 3.30pm.
These temporary closures are estimated to last for around 20 minutes as the participants pass by each road on the route.
A full list of roads is available on the council’s website, and includes Southmead Road, Pen Park Road, Charlton Road, Kings Weston Road and the southbound Portway.