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Gloucestershire races to fix roads for Tour of Britain

Highways department wants to fix 35 roads by Wednesday

Highway repair crews in Gloucestershire are in a race against time to get the roads up to top quality before the Tour of Britain arrives next Wednesday.

Gloucestershire Highways plans to repair 35 roads that will be used in stage four of the race.

The Gloucestershire Echo reports that Highways says the surfaces have been approved by race organisers and are maintained to the national safety standard, but it wants to go the extra mile to ensure a smooth ride for stars like Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

County councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “The highways team have taken great pride in ensuring Gloucestershire roads are safe for riders.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming the cyclists to the county. We hope that major events like this will visit Gloucestershire again and that residents and visitors will continue to choose cycling as a form of leisure and transport within our beautiful county.”

John Rowland, who runs Cheltenham Cycles, welcomed the repairs work.

He said: “It’s better for cyclists and motorists to have a good road surface.

“Sometimes you can avoid a pothole but other times even an experienced rider like me has to ride into one. You don’t like doing it, but it’s better than going under the wheels of a car.

“Also it’ll make Gloucestershire look better. It’ll be better to see Cheltenham with good roads for the coverage.

“Seeing someone like Bradley Wiggins come off and break a collar-bone on live TV won’t do anyone any good.”

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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