Train operator Great Western Railway is asking people to plan their journeys ahead as the premier event in Britain’s cycling road race calendar, the Tour of Britain, kicks off this Sunday (September 5) with the ’Grand Depart’ starting in Cornwall for the first time.

With space on trains limited, they are also asking race fans to leave their own bicycles behind before travelling.

The 17th edition of the race begins on Sunday in Penzance and will finish in Bodmin. Spectators are expected to line the route to catch a glimpse of some of cycling’s greatest stars, including ’Manx missile’ sprinter Mark Cavendish - multiple points winner in the Tour de France as well as winner of most stages in the Tour of Britain’s history; Tokyo Olympics medallists Wout van Aert, Ethan Hayter and Rohan Dennis; and reigning UCI road world champion Julian Alaphilippe.

Those looking to travel by train to watch the Tour of Britain are being warned by train operator Great Western Railway that services are expected to be busy, and space on services limited. The company is also asking those looking to travel to leave bikes securely locked at the station at which they board or at home.

GWR Station Manager for West Cornwall Sharon Holloway explains: “This Sunday very much marks the end of the school holidays, and return to the office for many, as well as this fantastic sporting event right on our doorstep.

“With that in mind we are advising those travelling that space on trains is limited, and to allow as many people to travel as possible, we would ask that you do not bring your bike onto the train.

“Additionally, check your journey before you travel as late timetable changes may apply because of the impact of Covid-19.”

Travellers are also being reminded that a face covering is expected to be worn on board and at the station.

Services to and from key locations including the finish area near Bodmin General station - to which people can catch a connecting Bodmin & Wenford Railway shuttle service (see article elsewhere on this website) from Bodmin Parkway mainline station - and vantage points during the races are expected to be busy throughout Sunday and also Monday, when stage two of the race will be from Sherford in the South Hams via Torcross, Kingsbridge, Tavistock and across Dartmoor to Exeter.