THE biggest and most prestigious cycling race in the country is coming to Bolton this weekend for the final stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

The final stage of the race will visit the town on Saturday as it takes in all 10 of the Greater Manchester boroughs, starting in Altrincham and finishing in Deansgate in Manchester city centre.

Stage 8 of the tour will see the peloton take on a gruelling 165km route, including 22km in Bolton, arriving from Hawkshaw.

Leading cyclists are expected to enter the town at around 1.20pm, after crossing the moorlands from Bury, and will pass through Bromley Cross, Egerton, Horwich and Blackrod; before exiting to Wigan.

Recommended viewing spots include: Bromley Cross railway station, Darwen Road, Dunscar War Memorial, Egerton Park, Scout Road, near Horwich Leisure Centre in Chorley Old Road, Lee Lane, Crown Roundabout, Rivington Pub in Station Road and Church Street in Blackrod.

Once in Bolton the race will come from Hawkshaw, along Bury Road in South Turton, to Chapeltown Road and Bromley Cross Road, right onto Darwen Road, straight down Blackburn Road and left onto Longworth Lane.

Cyclists then head out to Belmont on Egerton Road and come back into Bolton via Belmont Road.

They will then take a left over Scout Road, Colliers Row, and Walker Fold Road, right onto Chorley Old Road, exiting onto Church Street, before a sprint down Lee Lane on to Crown Lane.

The route then takes cyclists onto A6 Station Road Blackrod with competitors taking a right at Manchester Road, straight down Church Street, left at Hill Lane and then into Haigh.

Along the route hundreds of spectators will be cheering on the riders, including 50 Walmsley CofE Primary School pupils who will be in Blackburn Road in t-shirts that spell Bolton.

Spectators will also be given Bolton flags to wave as cyclists come past and several businesses are putting on activities and entertainment along the course.

Leader of Bolton Council and Bromley Cross councillor, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for residents in our town to watch an amazing sporting spectacle at close quarters.

“Bolton has a great reputation for hosting huge sporting events successfully – our track record with events such as Ironman speaks for itself.

“There is a huge amount of excitement across the borough and we are hoping the roads will be lined with people cheering on the competitors – I will be certainly leading the cheering in Bromley Cross and Egerton.”

For those unable to attend the race Bolton will feature on ITV4’s live coverage of the Tour of Britain and the nightly highlights programme show all the best bits of the action.

During Saturday rolling road closures will be in place along the race route and traffic will be halted just ahead of the competitors.

Roads will then reopen once all cyclists and support vehicles have passed.

Motorists are advised to avoid the stage course and find alternative routes, or take public transport.