Altrincham to host the start of the 2023 Tour of Britain cycling race

The biggest race in British cycling is taking place across Greater Manchester next month.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 1st August 2023

The Tour of Britain, the biggest cycling race in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe, is back for 2023 and this year the international sporting event will be starting in Altrincham.

With the Altrincham hosting the start line for the second time in the competition’s 73-year history, the Tour of Britain and its massive crowds will be treated to some proper Manc hospitality and be able to watch the riders get underway from one of the best places to live anywhere in the UK.

The opening stage begins in Trafford’s beloved market town on Sunday, 3 September, and although the final section began there back in 2019, this is the first time the Grand Départ has taken place in Alty since the event restarted and the modern era began in 2004.

It’s going to be a special one.

The peloton will roll out from Market Street close to the famous Altrincham Market right in the heart of the town centre, which is so loved by locals and tourists alike that it won the Great British High Street Award for England in 2018.


Although the distance of each section is yet to be confirmed, the opening stage is expected to last approximately 166km if the last time out is anything to go by and will finish along Deansgate in the heart of Manchester city centre, where Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won in 2019.

In case you were unaware of just how massive this event is, that year there was an estimated 600,000 spectators watching roadside across Greater Manchester — the biggest single-day crowd in race history. Here are some of the highlights if you fancy getting yourself in the mood for race day:


The opening stage route will see riders cycle through Altrincham, Hazel Grove in Stockport, Grains Bar in Oldham, Ramsbottom Rake in Bury and then finally Deansgate.

Speaking on the announcement, Altrincham’s Business Improvement District Manager, Mandy White, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Tour of Britain is returning to Altrincham for the Grand Départ Sunday, 3 September. It’s fantastic for the town to host such a high-profile, international sporting event and we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to Altrincham.”

It’s obviously totally free to turn up and watch but race fans can also enhance their race day experience by watching the starting gun from Altrincham’s terrace.


As for those who simply want to watch at home, ITV4 will be showing live flag-to-flag coverage of every stage, as well as a nightly highlights show, allowing fans all across the country to enjoy the action, as well as international broadcasts on Discovery Player and GCN+.

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Since its return in 2004, the Tour of Britain has become a cornerstone of the UK sporting calendar, with over 15 million people turning up to watch the event in person and generating more than £330m for the UK economy. Make no mistake, this is a massive annual event and Manchester’s lucky to play its part.

It goes without saying that Manchester’s connections with the sport are huge and plain for all to see, not only being the home of British Cycling, its national governing body and the National Cycling Centre, but also hosting the finale of the 2022 Tour Series.

As for Altrincham, we couldn’t have put it better than Tom Ross of Trafford Council: “Trafford is renowned for hosting world-class sport so it is a pleasure and honour to have the Grand Départ here in Altrincham. Last time, thousands of people came to cheer on the cyclists and enjoy the delights of our award-winning market town and I’m confident even more people will want to come and experience the opening of this illustrious event.”

He’s not wrong, in case you weren’t aware, Manchester is a sporting mecca and Trafford might just be the unofficial capital.


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Featured Image — Tour of Britain/Wikimedia Commons