Tour of Britain cycle race to start in town centre that bans cyclists

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A stage of a major British cycling race is set to start in a town centre that bars ordinary riders from pedalling through its streets.

Mark Cavendish is expected to be among cyclists setting off from central Mansfield on September 6 for the fourth day of the Tour of Britain.

But as they pedal through the centre of the Nottinghamshire market town, they will be doing something that on any normal day would constitute breaking the law.

Since last year, Mansfield District Council has enforced a ban on cycling in the town centre as part of an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour.

It insists the ban only extends to actual cycling, with riders permitted to dismount and wheel the bikes instead.

But campaigners believe the move unfairly stigmatises cyclists – and disadvantages certain people with disabilities who use cycles as mobility aids.

When the ban was implemented last year, charity Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore said: “If the Council was experiencing problems with a small number of inconsiderate people cycling, it would be far better to tackle that behaviour, which would benefit everyone, rather than impose a blanket ban on all cycling in the area at all times.”

The Tour of Britain, the UK’s answer to the Tour de France, starts on September 3rd in Edinburgh and ends in Cardiff seven days later.

Last year the race was won by British rider Steve Cummings, who was the first Briton to claim victory since Bradley Wiggins in 2013.


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