SOME of the world's top cyclists have been powering their way through Chester, Ellesmere Port and Saltney as part of this year's Tour of Britain.

The annual event, which has been running since 1945, sees the cycling elite tackle stages across the UK, with Wednesday's stage five taking them through Cheshire and a brief foray into Flintshire.

Crowds lined the roadside to cheer on the leading pack and their chasers as they wound their way along the 174.1km course.

Wednesday's route, which began and ended in Birkenhead, saw competitors zip by Capenhurst, Willaston, Great Sutton, Moston and the Countess of Chester Hospital before passing landmarks including Chester Racecourse and the Airbus Broughton factory, before going along Dodleston, Pulford, Farndon, Waverton, Kelsall Hill, Bridge Trafford and Little Stanney.

But there was dismay for local hope and Tour of Britain 2016 winner Steve Cummings, as despite riding on Wirral roads near his Clatterbridge birthplace, he crashed out of the race.

He was taken to hospital to be checked over.