Sir Bradley Wiggins and the rest of the world’s top riders in the Tour of Britain are in for a real treat on Friday.
Derbyshire roads will welcome Team Wiggins, Team Sky and the peleton as the tour reaches stage six, starting in Stoke-on-Trent and finishing in Nottingham.
In between, the professionals will ride through the Peak District, with its stunning scenery.
Make no mistake, what these athletes go through during races, and the way they train beforehand, is incredible, admirable and the kind of punishment you wouldn’t wish on an enemy.
But if cycling is your thing, then being paid to ride your bike around Derbyshire is a pretty sweet deal.
The ‘fast and technical’ descent that comes after the riders leave Buxton on Long Hill will showcase a breathtaking valley and Errwood Reservoir.
It’s the kind of downhill blast that leaves you grinning ear from ear, unless you’re an entirely colour co-ordinated serious cyclist out to nab someone’s Strava leaderboard place.
And if you can find a safe spot to watch, should the weather be kind, it’ll make for one of the most pleasant viewing spots.
Winnats Pass descent will provide a highlight, and there’ll be a King of the Mountain section between Hathersage and Grindleford, which I’m yet to ride, and when I do there certainly won’t be a GoPro involved to capture it for the world.
I might even turn Strava off.
While Castleton is a fantastic places to visit, nevermind catch an eyeful of some sporting heroes, Bakewell will surely be a top destination for cycle fans on Friday.
That little stretch between the roundabout and the humpback bridge, when the road splits for a brief one-way segment, is where you’ll get some real close quarter action and be able to see the whites of their eyes – or at least the glint off their top of the range sunglasses.
There are a couple of short, sharp climbs after Bakewell, one a bit of a slow burner that takes a left turn and drags a little before the summit, and then they’re on your way to what I believe is the jewell in the stage six crown – Chatsworth.
What a beautiful place to ride your bike, down the hill towards the house and sweeping up and round the corner, with the great building on your left.
The narrow bridge en route to Beeley will make life interesting, before the second category two climb of the stage, Beeley Moor.
In the interests of fair and accurate journalism, I rode very little of the 192,7km stage for the purpose of our preview video – just selected highlights.
But nothing whets the appetite for a bike ride more than the promise of challenging climbs, quick descents and beautiful, rolling, green countryside and I’ll be back out to do more in the near future.
I dare say the numbers of cyclists on the region’s roads may spike in the next week or two, with the inspiration only a major race can bring.
Derbyshire is one of the most picturesque locations in the country, and when the colour and spectacle of the Tour of Britain comes through on Friday, it will be quite a sight.
Don’t miss it.