THE county prepares itself as the world’s top cyclists get ready to saddle up for this year’s Tour of Britain.

Gloucestershire County Council has carried out a detailed inspection to ensure the smoothness and safe conditions of roads used in the race.

The tour will make its way through the county from September 10.

The council’s inspection was led by an experienced member of the safety inspection team who is also a keen cyclist.

Like the rest of the county, the route is already maintained to national safety standards, however further work to fix and patch potholes at a number of extra locations will be completed in time for the tour.

Councillor Vernon Smith is the cabinet member for highways.

He said: “We are delighted to be part of this year’s Tour of Britain. 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.”

The 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain takes place from Sunday September 7 to Sunday, September 14, and includes nine stages over eight days of racing.

Stage four will see the teams cycle through Gloucestershire, beginning in Winchcombe, travelling through Cheltenham, Painswick, Stroud and Nailsworth, before going through South Gloucestershire.

Rolling road closures will be in place throughout the tour to minimise disruption and to keep spectators safe. Updates will be posted via social media on @GlosCC and @GlosRoads and on the council website.