Wigan cyclist saddles up for home run in the Tour of Britain

Cyclist Matt Holmes
Cyclist Matt Holmes

A professional cyclist wants to “put on a show” when he rides through his hometown on the final leg of the Tour of Britain.

Matt Holmes is competing for the Madison Genesis team in the country’s biggest cycling event, which started last weekend in Scotland.

The final stage of this year’s race takes place in Greater Manchester on Saturday September 14, and will pass through Haigh, Aspull, Hindley Green, Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley.

And 25-year-old Matt can barely wait to revisit his hometown for the final stretch.

He said: “It will be great to use the same roads on the final stage of the Tour of Britain as I have trained on for many years and know well.

“I will be aiming to put on a good show as we pass through Wigan and it will be a fitting way to ride my last race for Madison by racing through my home town.”

Matt starting cycling when he was just eight, making the sport a major part of his life ever since.

Coached by his dad Roy in his youth and junior ranks, he joined British Cycling’s Great Britain Olympic Development Programme and was selected to ride at the Junior World Championships in 2011.

He turned professional at the age of 18 with Raleigh GAC in 2012, before joining Madison Genesis in 2014.

Now in his sixth season with the team, he competes at high profile events such as the Tour De Yorkshire and, as he is doing so this week, the Tour of Britain.

This year’s Tour will mark Matt’s fifth appearance, and last year he won the overall most combative rider award.

He will be trying to secure a good result again for Madison in what will be the team’s last race, before they withdraw their sponsorship

When he first started, Matt did most of his cycling at the indoor Manchester Velodrome, getting up at 6.30am every Saturday to get over to Manchester and spend three hours training on the track.

He started road riding in his early teens being coached by Roy who is also a multiple National Champion road racer and who now runs Holmes Cycling: a coaching business in which Matt himself also has involvement.

Matt and his dad would spend many hours riding the Lancashire lanes between Wigan and Southport including lots of climbs of Ashurst Beacon at Up Holland and the surrounding hills.

The race, which started last Saturday, is scheduled to finish in Deansgate, Manchester, in the mid-afternoon.