Tour of Britain: Stage 2 – Kendal to Blackpool

Stage Two of The Tour of Britain cancelled — High winds force cancellation of second stage from Kendal to Blackpool on Monday, 12th September.

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A joint decision has been taken by Tour of Britain organisers, in conjunction with teams and riders, officials and police that Stage Two of The Tour of Britain, from Kendal to Blackpool will not take place in light of the extremely high winds in the Northwest of England.

With the town centre of Kendal packed, the riders did two laps of the town before getting into their team cars and heading to the hotels. All except Mark Cavendish who went to Blackpool to make a special presentation.

Explaining the decision, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said; “In my thirty years of organising cycling events I have never once had to cancel a stage before it even started, so this is not a decision that has been taken lightly. However today has presented as with a set of extreme circumstances.  The safety of competitors, officials, staff and of course spectators is of more importance than the spectacle of the event.  We cannot, and will not take the slightest risk when it comes to safety, hence today’s decision.”

Mark is interviewed with the race convoy behind him in front of  a big crowd in Blackpool.

“Pockets of the route, including the start at Kendal were more sheltered but still experienced extremely blustery conditions.  In the main though there were large sections of the stage on exposed hillsides, including the three Skoda King of the Mountains locations, plus the final five kilometres of the stage along Blackpool Promenade, where conditions were deemed unsafe by ourselves as organisers, hence the regrettable decision to cancel the stage.”

“I would like to thank the teams and riders for their assistance today, and apologise to the many spectators out on the route who have missed out on the opportunity to see The Tour of Britain, but we hope that they will understand the reasons behind our decision.”

Dan Williams, a spokesman for the Met Office said “Very strong winds are expected across today’s race route with gusts of up to 75mph along exposed areas on higher ground and along the coast. It is also possible that waves could overtop sea defences along the west coast around the Blackpool area.  Although it will still be a windy day on Tuesday, we are not expecting the strength of those gusts to be as bad for the third stage tomorrow.”

This is what was going on at the Tower Ballroom before the Tour of Britain was given the floor for a few minutes so Mark Cavendish could make a presentation.

With a large crowd already out in force in Kendal, a decision was taken by organisers and the teams and riders to hold a neutralised parade of the town centre.

A cavalcade of team and Tour of Britain vehicles will follow the route of Stage Two from Kendal to Blackpool, led by the HTC Highroad team car containing the IG Markets Gold Jersey and Stage One winner Mark Cavendish.

Stage Three of The Tour of Britain, The Stoke-on-Trent Stage, on Tuesday 13 September will go ahead as planned, with the stage due to start from Trentham Gardens at 10:30.

It was like Cavendish was on the red carpet as autograph hunters beseiged him on his way from the team car to the ballroom in the tower.

Oh the irony! Children who minutes before had been given team Sky fan books present them to Garmins Roger Hammond to sign!

Mark Cavendish, jersey in hand, walks to the centre of the ballroom he once danced on as a 16 year old.

No doubt, the wind in Blackpool would have made the race unsafe and along the route, whilst not as bad, there were instances of tree branches being blown around which could have done some damage had they hit riders.

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2011 Tour of Britain – Stage by Stage
1. Peebles to Dumfries, 170km (Sunday September 11)
2. Kendal to Blackpool, 138km (Monday September 12)
3. Stoke-on-Trent to Trentham Gardens, 140km (Tuesday September 13)
4. Welshpool to Caerphilly, 180km (Wednesday September 14)
5. Exeter to Exmouth, 180km (Thursday September 15)
6. Taunton to Wells, 146km (Friday September 16)
7. Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham, 200km (Saturday September 17)
8a. London 9km individual time trial (Sunday September 18)
8b. London 90km criterium (Sunday September 18)

Rider List
Coming ….

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