HUNDREDS of people turned out in Malvern to see the Tour of Britain roll through as the town basked in sunshine.
Stage Four of the event began in Worcester City Centre at 10.45am on Wednedsay (August 10) and the peloton was welcomed by a rapturous crowd in Great Malvern about half an hour later as it wheeled through on to the finish in Bristol. Residents in Leigh Sinton, Malvern Link, Welland and Upton-upon-Severn also got to see the riders pass through.
Most roads on the route were temporarily closed for half an hour operated by a rolling police escort, but the town centre made the most of the event with Church Street closed off for half-a-day and entertainment helping to build anticipation for the riders’ arrival.
Amateurs from cycle club members to mom and daughter combo’s took on the Church Street climb themselves in the morning cheered on by people lining both sides of the road.
Traders were also out in force making the most of the extra footfall while dozens of cycling enthusiasts put on their Lycra and saddled up to see the professionals pass through.
The town’s famous composer also got in on the act as the statue of Sir Edward Elgar sported knitted cycle-ware while the Malvern Town Council office on Belle Vue Terrace displayed a large painting of the musician on a bicycle.
The council also greeted the peloton earlier down the route with a giant polka dot jersey painted onto the field at Lower Howsell Road emblazoned with the same design as the top presented to winner of Wyche Cutting ‘King of the Mountains Climb’.
Stage Four was won by Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski from the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team who took the overall lead in the Tour.
Bradley Wiggins, the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France and Olympic Gold in the time trial event, finished in the pack and remains sixth overall, 27 seconds back from Kwiatkowski with five stages left.