Press releases for some of the stages in this year’s Tour of Britain including stage start in a castle at Nottingham and finishing on the cobbles of Guildford.
Stage 2 Start:
The Tour of Britain returns to Nottingham – Castle start for Stage Two of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race
The Tour of Britain will return to Nottingham this September, for the first stage start of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race to be held in the city. Monday 10th September will see Stage Two of the race commence from the city’s castle, before heading the 177.8 kilometres across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire to the finish on Merseyside at Knowsley Safari Park.
Cllr Jon Collins, Nottingham City Council’s Leader, says: “Nottingham city has a proud tradition of hosting world class sporting events such as the cricket, tennis and watersport. Nottingham has a great cycling heritage with it being the birth place of one of the world’s most famous cycling manufacturers, Raleigh. And so it is fitting that Britain’s biggest professional cycle race starts here.”
Nottingham has hosted stages of the modern Tour of Britain twice before, holding stage finishes in 2004 and 2005, the former of which was won by then World Champion Tom Boonen. “We are very pleased to be returning to Nottingham this September, and look forward to bringing the excitement of a stage start to the city,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director.
“Stage Two will be one of the most iconic stages of this year’s Tour, starting from the beautiful surrounds of Nottingham Castle and finishing at Knowsley Safari Park, it is sure to be one to remember for spectators.”
Stage 2 Finish:
Knowsley to welcome Tour of Britain’s Merseyside return
Safari Park finish for Stage Two of The Tour of Britain – The Tour of Britain will return to Merseyside this September after a three year absence, as Knowsley hosts a unique stage finish at the world famous Knowsley Safari Park. Monday 10th September will see 100 of the world’s top cyclists racing into Knowsley for a spectacular and unique finish at the famous Safari Park.
“We’re delighted to be a part of this key sporting event,” said Sheena Ramsey, Chief Executive of Knowsley Council. “To be welcoming so many world class sports people here is really exciting and we promise to make this stage of the event really memorable for everyone.
“We’ve spent millions of pounds creating world class leisure facilities in Knowsley and these sorts of events can really inspire us all to get more involved in sport.”
The Tour of Britain, Stage Two will finish in the grounds of Knowsley Safari Park. “Cycling is a very popular sport in the area and, with the new velodrome at Huyton in mind, Knowsley Safari Park is delighted to work with Knowsley Council to raise further awareness of the sport by hosting a stage finish of the Tour Britain.” Said Edward Perry, Operations Director
“However, I suspect the competitors on the day will have other matters on their minds as they sprint past our herd of African elephants!’ Stage Two begins at Nottingham Castle, before embarking on a 177.8 kilometre route through Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire before the finale to the stage in Knowsley.
“Stage Two will be one of the most iconic stages of this year’s Tour, starting from the beautiful surrounds of Nottingham Castle and finishing at Knowsley Safari Park, it is sure to be one to remember for spectators,” said Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director. “We look forward to working with both Knowsley Council and Knowsley Safari Park over the coming months to put on the best possible show for spectators this September.”
Sports fans in the North West will be in for a treat this September, as the Knowsley stage finish is one of two in the region, with Blackpool holding the finale of Stage Four two days later.
The Tour of Britain begins in Suffolk on Sunday 9th September, with Stage One taking the race from Ipswich to the Norfolk Showground near Norwich. Following Stage Two riders head to Scotland, before returning to the North West for Stage Three from Carlisle to Blackpool.
Stoke-on-Trent, Wales and Devon hold the next three days of racing before the race climaxes in Surrey on Sunday 16th September with a challenging stage finishing in Guildford, where the winner of the IG Markets Gold Jersey of race leader will be crowned.
More details on the Knowsley finish to Stage Two will be announced in the Summer.
Scotland gears up for Tour of Britain return
World’s top cyclists to race through Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway this September
The Tour of Britain will return to Scotland this September, as the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway host Stage Three of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race. Attracting some of the biggest names in world cycling, the Tour will offer fans the chance experience the thrilling road race, just a five weeks after the London Olympics.
Tuesday 11th September will see almost 100 of the world’s top cyclists racing the 161.4 kilometres from Jedburgh to Dumfries, taking in Hawick, St Mary’s Loch and Moffat on the way. The route is both spectacular and challenging, providing riders and spectators with the ideal setting for the action.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Featuring some of the world’s top road cyclists, the Tour of Britain is one of the highlights on Scotland’s sporting calendar and the excitement and passion for the event will be as strong as ever in this Olympic year. Scotland is the perfect stage for major cycling events and the stunning route through the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway will undoubtedly provide the ideal backdrop to the action.
“EventScotland continues to support The Tour of Britain as part of our ongoing commitment to cycling, and I am delighted that Scottish Cycling is once again delivering a programme of activity around the event that will contribute to the continued development of the sport.”
Following the successful hosting of stage starts in Peebles in 2009 and 2011, The Tour of Britain moves to Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders this year. Heading through Moffat riders will cross into Dumfries & Galloway, before racing into Dumfries where they will tackle three laps of a testing finishing circuit, giving fans additional opportunities to see the race in full flight before the exciting finale on Whitesands.
Richard Sweetnam, Economic Development Manager at Scottish Borders Council said: “The Council is committed to supporting cycling in the Borders and maximising the tourism and leisure opportunities it brings. Working with EventScotland, the Borders has hosted The Tour of Britain for a number of years and it’s very exciting that it is returning in 2012.
“This year’s route around Jedburgh and Hawick, showcased by cyclescottishborders.com, is spectacular. We will be working with local businesses and VisitScotland to deliver another successful stage, promoting both the hugely popular local cycling events earlier in the summer and Scotland’s leading cycling destination itself.”
Ewan Green, Head of Economic Development for Dumfries and Galloway Council added: “Cycling fans across the region will warmly welcome the news that The Tour of Britain is to return to Dumfries and Galloway. Once again this year, I expect thousands of spectators will turn out to support the riders as they take in Moffat, Lochmaben, Dumfries and the scenic Solway coast. The 2012 stage is sure to be memorable and I am very much looking forward to it.”
A mass participation cycle ride – The Tour Ride Scotland – will accompany The Tour of Britain in 2012, with cyclists getting the chance to experience the thrill of the route first hand. Amateur riders and families will be given the opportunity to preview part of the Scottish stage on Sunday 26th August, with full details to be announced via www.tourride.co.uk.
Following the Dumfries finish, racing continues with Stage Four on Wednesday 12th September from Carlisle to Blackpool, giving cycling fans in Scotland another opportunity to see riders from around the world racing in Britain.
The Tour of Britain returns to Carlisle - Britain’s biggest professional cycle race returns to city after seven year absence
The Tour of Britain will return to Carlisle this September, as the city hosts the start of Stage Four of the race on Wednesday 12th September.
The 156 kilometre leg will take many of the world’s leading cyclists, and the best of British, south to Blackpool, with the stage start seeing The Tour return for the first time since 2005.
Jason Gooding, Chief Executive, Carlisle City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back the Tour of Britain. Carlisle will once again be showcased to a global audience and we’re thrilled to be part of an exciting event that attracts thousands of spectators. We look forward to providing a warm welcome to The Tour of Britain competitors and supporters.”
“In this very important year for British sport we are looking forward to working with Carlisle City Council to bring this country’s biggest free-to-watch live sporting event to the city,” said Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett.
Carlisle’s cycling fans are also being encouraged to turn out in force the day before to see the race arrive into Dumfries on Tuesday 11th September, making it a double-header of cycling action for local sports fans.
The Tour of Britain last visited Carlisle in 2005, with Roger Hammond winning the stage again to Blackpool, notable for the third placed finish of a young Mark Cavendish – his first ever podium result in The Tour of Britain.
Devon to host penultimate stage of 2012 Tour
This year’s Devon stage will start in Barnstaple and will cover around 106 miles (170.7km) of the county before finishing in Dartmouth. The route will again take in Dartmoor National Park, where there will be a celebration of cycling, and it will re-visit some towns which have hosted Stage starts and finishes in recent years, including Bideford, Hatherleigh and Tavistock. It will also wind its way through other communities including Instow, Great Torrington, Okehampton, Princetown, Buckfastleigh, Kingsbridge, Torcross and Stoke Fleming.
Team Sky’s current road cycling world champion Mark Cavendish and last year’s world champion Thor Hushovd, of BMC Racing, were among those who raced through the county last year as Lars Boom of Rabobank won the coveted IG Markets Gold Jersey. Devon rider Jon Tiernan Locke thrilled the home crowd last year, taking maximum points from the Skoda King of the Mountains climbs at Dartmoor National Park. He went on to win the Skoda King of the Mountains jersey and finished fifth overall in the Tour.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “Last year’s Tour of Britain was described as the best ever, but we’ll be aiming to go one better in September, particularly during the Summer of Cycling. With the event so close to the Olympic Games there’s sure to be an even bigger buzz about this year’s race and hopefully we’ll get to see some Olympic medallists racing through the county. It was fantastic to have some home-grown success last year with Jon Tiernan Locke’s heroics, and I’m sure he’ll do Devon proud again.
“As the penultimate stage, Devon could prove to be the decisive stage of the race, which is an added bonus for spectators. The Tour is also an opportunity to demonstrate to everyone watching the race, whether it’s on TV or by the roadside, why we’re a cycling county. This year’s route passes through communities which are linked to some of our most popular cycling routes, such as the Tarka Trail, Granite Way and Drake’s Trail, and hopefully it will encourage more people to take up cycling or give it another go.”
Last year was the first time an entire stage of The Tour had been held in Devon, having crossed the border into Somerset over the previous three years. According to an independent report, commissioned by The Tour, an additional £3.1 million was spent in the county on the day of last year’s Devon stage, with more than 125,000 spectators lining the route from Exeter to Exmouth, via Dartmoor National Park.
Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Enterprise and Employment, said: “The Tour has established itself as a firm fixture in Devon, attracting impressive crowd numbers which has generated vital income for the local economy. This year’s route is another showcase for our beautiful coast and countryside, illustrating that Devon is the perfect venue for such a prestigious event and a premier destination for cycling tourism.”
The national launch of the 2012 Tour, held in Guildford today, revealed that Britain’s premier cycle race will again take in England, Scotland and Wales. The Grand Depart will take place in Ipswich on Sunday 9 September, with the race finishing in Guildford on Sunday 16 September.
Endura have been confirmed as one of the teams who will compete over the eight days, giving Jon Tiernan Locke the opportunity to defend his title.
Jon said: “I’m definitely keen to ride in The Tour of Britain again. Last year went really well and it was truly special being on my local roads. The Devon stage was my main focus and I didn’t think about the King of the Mountains jersey until I went up the road and got a few points.”
“That’s when I thought it was something I could definitely get. I’m not sure if I’ll have the same objective this year – it might be a stage win or the overall classification. But it’ll be a great occasion to have Britain’s best cycle race back in our local area. I know Dartmoor well and Dartmouth will be a stunning finish.”
Some of the other 16 world class teams which have been revealed, include Sky Professional Cycling Team, Garmin-Barracuda and Vacansoleil. It will also be the debut Tour of Britain for Liquigas-Cannondale and GreenEDGE.
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of The Tour organisers Sweetspot Group, said: “We always enjoy returning to Devon because it offers some of the most spectacular scenery and exciting racing. Spectators in Devon can look forward to a real treat as the Tour reaches its climax, and in this most important of years for British sport, we are looking forward to giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the best professional riders in the world competing on UK roads.”
Surrey to host final stage of The Tour of Britain
Surrey will host the final stage of The Tour of Britain when the national race takes place in September. Surrey County Council has captured the last stage of the 840-mile event after bringing the men’s and women’s Olympic cycle road races and time trials to the county.
It takes place on Sunday 16 September, starting in Reigate and finishing on the cobbled stones of Guildford’s steep High Street. In recent years the race has attracted Tour de France stage winners such as Britain’s Mark Cavendish and former world champions including Thor Hushovd.
Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games said: “The bone juddering cobbles of Guildford will provide an exhilarating finale to this incredible event. “We’re already hosting the Olympic cycle road races and time trials and The Tour could boost our local economy by up to £5.5 million and continue to strengthen our reputation as a world-class cycling destination.”
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of organiser and promoter SweetSpot Group, said: “As a Surrey based company we are very excited to be putting on the final stage of The Tour of Britain on home roads.” “In Guildford we have one of the most scenic locations for the finish of a major stage race anywhere in the world, so are eagerly anticipating Sunday 16 September.”
Cllr Tony Rooth, Guildford Borough Council Leader, said: “It’s fantastic news that Guildford, which is so popular with cyclists, will be centre stage at the finish of this prestigious national event.” The stage will cover more than 90-miles of Surrey roads with the riders passing through Guildford early in the day before returning for the finish.