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Racers gear up for last leg of Tour of Britain

Cyclists and crowds are gathering ahead of today's Tour of Britain final leg, which sees competitors race an 88km route through the capital's streets.

Cyclists move into position for the start of the race Credit: ITV News/ Piers Hopkirk

Briton Sir Bradley Wiggins goes in as the favourite after retaining his overall lead yesterday - despite a win in the penultimate stage by Mark Cavendish.

The race kicks off at 3.30pm this afternoon.

Arsenal's Lee Dixon gives a pre-race interview - he is competing in the amateur category Credit: ITV News/ Piers Hopkirk
Crowds gather ahead of the race Credit: ITV News/ Piers Hopkirk
Bike are driven in along the route underneath the Houses of Parliament Credit: ITV News/ Piers Hopkirk

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Traffic chaos feared as Tour of Britain hits central London

Taxis queue in a traffic jam through central London Credit: Reuters: file photo

The final leg of the UK's largest professional cycle race hits the capital's streets today, but there are fears that the 88 km route through a network of closed off roads could cause travel pandemonium in the city.

Transport for London are advising people to be extra careful when planning their route - over 60 roads are affected today along with 23 bus routes facing diversions. Two of the city's main bridges - Westminster Bridge and Southwark Bridge - will be closed off as well.

Full details of all the closures are on the TfL website at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/28368.aspx.

Wiggins in the lead as the Tour hits central London

Today sees the final stage of the Tour of Britain cycling race - and champion cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is in the lead to take the title.

The race will start and finish on Whitehall, passing world-famous sights such as the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Fellow Briton Mark Cavendish is also in a strong position, having come top in yesterday's leg of the race through Guildford.

The race will get underway at 3.30 this afternoon.

Mark Cavendish wins heat in Tour of Britain

Mark Cavendish celebrates his win Credit: PA Wire

Mark Cavendish won a sprint finish from Italian Elia Viviani on Guildford high street today in the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain.

The British national champion kicked for the line early and looked as though he might pay the price as Viviani burst forward from fourth place.

But a second push from Cavendish earned him the victory after a 155km run from the racecourse at Epsom.

Sir Bradley Wiggins is still in the overall lead going into Sunday's final stage though. The last leg runs through central London - and is expected to end in a sprint finish again.

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Tour of Britain route

The Tour of Britain's penultimate stage on September 21st will go through Surrey from Epsom to Guildford:

  • EPSOM
  • Leatherhead
  • East Horsley
  • Dorking
  • Holmbury St Mary
  • Cranleigh
  • Shere
  • Send
  • Woking
  • Ottershaw
  • Chobham
  • Knaphill
  • Normandy
  • Elstead
  • Churt
  • Farnham
  • GUILDFORD

On the next day, the Tour will race round the centre of London - starting in Whitehall, going to Trafalgar Square, along the river to the Tower of London before returning to the finish in Whitehall.

Tour of Britain route to be revealed

riders passing over Tower Bridge during the final stage of The Tour of Britain Credit: Mark Lees/PA Wire

The route of the 2013 Tour of Britain is to be revealed later, at a launch ceremony in Covent Garden.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Britain's biggest professional cycle race, which takes place from Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd September.

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