One of the world’s most famous competitions and biggest free-to-view events in Britain is set to come to Hampshire.
Organisers of the Tour of Britain have confirmed they are bidding to route the race through the county because of its iconic landscapes, towns and cities.
The route could include parts of the New Forest.
Superstar cyclists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Dani King could be among the big names battling it out through our roads and lanes.
This will be the second time the tour – the biggest free-to-view event in the UK – has visited the county.
Olympic champion Dani said: “I think it would be a really cool idea.
“I would absolutely love there to be a stage here.
“And it would be great if went near my home in Hamble.
“I spent all my life here, it was where I grew up and I had my first cycling races on roads around there.”
The race last passed through in 2007.
SweetSpot Group, who organise what is the UK’s premier race, say the county offers the ‘helicopter views’ that are part and parcel of the nationwide cycling tour.
Spokesman Peter Hodge said: “Talks are ongoing at the moment.
“We would love to return to Hampshire because we had such great support last time – so a return visit has been long overdue.”
Mr Hodge said the exact route has not been finalised but could include Southampton and the New Forest.
This follows controversy surrounding the impact of mass cycling events on local people.
Last month organisers of the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive launched a crackdown after riders ignored the toilets provided and relieved themselves in front of villagers. The race has been repeatedly targeted by saboteurs.