I’ve posted about this before but, since we have a talk on sports photography on Monday (9/9/19) here is some updated information.
The Tour of Britain starts this Saturday and stage 5 on Wednesday 11th starts and finishes in Birkenhead. The route travels down the Wirral, through Chester, out to Holt on the Welsh border then to Kelsall before returning up the Wirral. The stage ends with a couple of laps through New Brighton and Greasby before the finish in Birkenhead.
This is a stage race so, unlike the Tour Series that some of us watched earlier in the year, the riders only pass once (see below for exceptions). As a result I’m not organising a club trip but here are some details for anyone who wants to get some pictures of world class riders in Cheshire.
If you want to make a day of it then Birkenhead Park will see the start and finish plus the riders will ride through on the first lap of the finishing circuit. The start is 11:00, it’s worth noting that races start with a non racing roll out to get the field sorted before the official start which is in Port Sunlight around 12:00. The ride through will be around 14:40 and the finish around 15:25.
For viewing closer to home there is a KIng of the Mountains climb up Chapel Lane near Kelsall. This is a winding narrow climb and finding a spot may be difficult. The roads for the event are subject to a rolling road closure so the Police will close the road around 30 mins before the race arrives and open it maybe 15 mins after the last rider goes through (there are race vehicles etc to get through as well). To get parked and into place you need to allow at least an hour before the closure. For Chapel Lane you could try parking at the Forest Enterprise car park along Waste Lane and walk back or maybe street park along Willington Lane towards Kelsall. Timings 12:54 – 13:16.
An alternative which may be easier is the climb from the Farmers Arms up Yeld Lane (crossing the A54). From the top you could get a long shot and then close ups as they go by. There is a small car park at the top opposite Forest gate Lane but I guess it will fill up early. You could park on the A54 Gresty’s Waste car park and walk up via the Sandstone Trail and Forest Gate Lane or maybe roadside park down Chester Road and walk back. Timings 12:57 – 13:20.
Finally there is a climb through Mouldsworth up past the Goshawk Pub and over the railway. Maybe park at the pub and watch them go by (but I guess others may have the same idea). It’s a moderately steep climb but they will be going quite fast up there.
If you are really keen, the final stage on Saturday starts in Altrincham and ends in Deansgate, Manchester with plenty of other photography spots.
WARNING – The riders will be going much faster than you think, especially when viewed through your camera. Accidents DO happen. Always choose a safe position and look for an escape route in case things go wrong (for example stand in a field gate opening). This is especially true for Chapel Lane where there is a big drop from the roadside and not much space to stand. Also if you choose to watch the descent of the Yeld speeds will be up to 40-50 mph.
For all the details, route maps and timings see the Tour of Britain website.