Tour of Britain: Nottingham crowds welcome cycle race

Bradley Wiggins near to Nottingham Castle
Image caption Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins is one of the major attractions during the Tour of Britain

Thousands of people lined streets in Nottingham for stage 2 of the Tour of Britain cycling race.

About 100 riders, including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, set out from the castle and moved through the Old Market Square and Wollaton Park.

The race stage then started at Trowell Road, near the M1, before climbing into Derbyshire and the Peak District.

Australia's Leigh Howard outsprinted Mark Cavendish to win the stage as it ended in Cheshire.

Wiggins, who has also won four Olympic gold medals, and Cavendish, the reigning world road race champion and BBC Sports Personality of the Year, began the tour in East Anglia on Sunday.

The final part of the stage near Norwich saw a large crash which slightly injured Cavendish.

It is the first time in seven years the event has travelled through Nottingham.

Wiggins described the thousands of fans who turned out in Nottingham as "fantastic".

He said: "We've been here [Nottingham] a few times and the crowds have always been good so I expected nothing less."

City council leader and keen cyclist Jon Collins, who is riding with the competitors through the city, said it was a "fantastic occasion".

He added: "The opportunity to be here at the start of the stage of the Tour of Britain is something not to be missed.

"With Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish here, it is, for anybody interested in cycling, a really incredible event."

Road closures caused some disruption to bus and tram services in Nottingham until about 10:45 BST.

Image caption The riders passed through the village of Cross o' th' Hands, near Turnditch, in Derbyshire

Boy van Poppel, of the Netherlands, took the leader's jersey in the race with Howard second on the same time.

The riders head into stage 3, from Jedburgh to Dumfries, on Tuesday.

Monday's stage went through Ilkeston and Little Eaton before dropping down to Amber Valley.

It then climbed to the village of Turnditch, moving into the Peak District National Park parallel to the Tissington Trail.

Riders descended close to the River Dove before another climb to Alstonefield that took the race into Staffordshire.

The stage ended at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside.

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