More than one hundred of the world’s top professional cyclists will be in action in Hertfordshire in September when the penultimate stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain starts in the county.

Stage seven of the country’s leading stage race will begin in Hemel Hempstead on Saturday, September 9 as Dacorum welcomes the return of the event.

The stage will head from the town centre up to Maylands Avenue and make its way to Long Marston before moving out into Buckinghamshire. The 186km leg will cross the Cotswolds before finishing in Cheltenham.

The Tour last visited Hemel Hempstead in 2014 when the sixth stage finished in the town as Britain’s Alex Dowsett pulled on the race leader’s jersey. The Women’s Tour also ended in Hemel Hempstead the following year.

Chief executive of Dacorum Borough Council Sally Marshall said: “We are honoured to welcome the tour back to the borough. Dacorum successfully hosted the Tour of Britain in 2014 and it’s great to have the event back, especially as the penultimate stage of the race will start in Hemel Hempstead.

“We hope to see thousands of visitors in the town centre and along the route, and are sure it will inspire residents of all ages to get active.”

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Race director Mick Bennett said: “After the success of the men’s stage finish in 2014 and the finale of the Women’s Tour in 2015, we are delighted to bring a start of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain to Hemel Hempstead.

“Coming on a Saturday morning, we are sure this will be a popular start for spectators, while the route through Dacorum and across the Ashridge Estate is very picturesque.”

This year’s Tour of Britain is due to start in Edinburgh on Sunday, September 3 and finish in Cardiff the following Sunday.