THOUSANDS of people turned out to cheer on some of the world's hottest names in cycling as the OVO Energy Tour of Britain headed to Wirral.

Stage five of the cycling spectacular arrived in Wirral on Wednesday, September 11 with hundreds waiting in Birkenhead Park to cheer on the riders as they took part in the 174km stage.

The event formed part of Wirral's Borough of Culture celebrations.

Favourite Dylan Groenewegen made it three wins in five days when he sprinted to the finish line just before 3.30pm on Wednesday.

The Team Jumbo – Visma rider added the stage five victory to Saturday’s success in Kirkcudbright and his triumph on Newcastle’s Grey Street on Monday in dominant style.

Speaking after the event, Dutchman Groenewegen said: “I like this race, it’s a perfect race. I like to race here. It’s another hat-trick for me so I’m really proud of that but I’m really motivated to get another win.

“There was a small climb at the end of today’s stage - it was not a hard climb but the team did a very good job there. We stayed in a good position with one kilometre to go and then we went full gas. The lead-out was perfect. I’m very happy that I was able to take the win.

"The team worked very hard today and I’m really proud of them.”

Great Britain’s Matt Walls notably placed second, with Matteo Trentin’s third-place finish and subsequent time bonus putting the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider back into the OVO Energy green jersey of race leader leading into Thursday’s time trial in Pershore.

Trentin said: "It was finally a kind of easy day even if it’s not as easy as it looks on television. But I think it just gives the guys a little bit of a relax today and try to focus on your sprint and it came out pretty good, I knew that I had to come from the back, to be honest I was a little bit too much but Groenewegen here just demonstrated once again that he’s one step above all the rest and I thought I had a good race and take bonus seconds to be back in the general classification lead.”

Many of the audience members were cheering for local lad and former winner Steve Cummings from Team Dimension Data but sadly he crashed out of the race in West Kirby and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Another cyclist who took a tumble was Rory Townsend of Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes who thankfully, despite falling on his hip, kept the Eisberg Sprints jersey, with a four point lead over his nearest rival.

Globe readers from across Wirral got in touch with us to share their stories of the day.

Trish Dobbins told us how a Belgium cyclist threw a bottle to her son in the crowd.

While schools lined the route to cheer on the cyclists and give them a warm welcome to Wirral.

Local nursery Ganneys Meadow even held their own mini tour of Wirral with children bringing in their own bikes and scooters.

The youngsters took part in a small race in the playground which took them around cones featuring famous Wirral landmarks. Before the race, the children watched footage of the actual tour on the big screen and received a certificate for taking part.

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