Drivers are being warned of road closures when the annual Weymouth Ironman competition returns to the town next month.

Thousands of competitors are expected to take part in the gruelling tournament, which is set to take place throughout the day on Sunday, September 20.

Despite many major events being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers of the annual contest have revealed they are still planning to stage the 70.3-mile triathlon following consultations with council bosses.

Measures are being taken to ensure the safety of athletes, staff, spectators and local residents.

The event, a high profile sporting competition, provides a significant economy boost as competitors, race officials and their families descend on the area.

As in previous years, temporary road closures will be mostly be in place throughout the morning in the Weymouth and Dorchester areas and surrounding countryside, but extend into the evening in some parts of the resort.

Road closures include Weymouth Esplanade, which will be shut from 6.30am to 2pm, and Preston Beach Road, from Westerhall Road to Overcombe Roundabout, which will be closed from 4am to 6pm. Sections of the B3390 will also be closed as well as other routes.

Organisers have released road closure maps, which have been sent out to residents in the area to enable them to plan their travel plans in advance.

The annual event has attracted large amounts of visitors to Weymouth in the past, with up to 2,500 competitors taking part.

The triathlon consists of a 1.2-mile swim in Weymouth Bay, before a 56-mile cycle through the Dorset countryside, up to King’s Stag and back to Weymouth, passing through Godmanstone and Dorchester.

It concludes with a 13.1-mile run starting at Lodmoor Country Park and finishing along the Esplanade.

A spokesman for Ironman 70.3 Weymouth said: “Our team is hard at work to ensure a great racing experience in the safest possible environment while following the direction and recommendations of public health agencies and local authorities in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We want to thank our athletes for being part of our Ironman community and look forward to welcoming them to the race.”

Further information can be found at email or call 03330 116600.