Feature: Film Night at the Tour of Britain


The conference rooms at the London Film Museum at Covent Garden were packed on Thursday night for the launch of the 10th Tour of Britain

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How fitting for a race that has become a classic in British cycling history that the launch of the 10th edition of the Tour of Britain was in the very interesting London Film Museum.

With giant pictures of stars such as Audrey Hepburn looking down on the guests and the entrance from the Piazza in Convent Garden decked out with Tour of Britain memorabilia, the route for the race was announced to riders, sponsors, media and special guests. You can read more about it here and we’ll other features as well soon here on VeloUK.net


Guests arrive for the launch on Thursday evening in Covent Garden with the offer of a free drink or two. Shame I was working and driving!

The day for the staff behind this race started very early and when we arrived at 2pm, there was much to be done in the three rooms the race had taken over. At 6pm, those invited started to filter in and soon a large queue for badges formed with free drinks being handed out.

There were many high profile names from sport such as Nigel Mansell in attendance and riders such as Russell Downing (Netapp-Endura), Aussie Sam Witmitz and Graham Briggs (Raleigh) as well as the 2012 Yodel Sprints winner Pete Williams (IG Sigma Sport). It was so packed, it was impossible to see in the semi darkness just who had turned up but a little later than scheduled, the new BBC TV Cycling commentator Simon Brotherton got proceedings underway.


DJ and councillor from Devon, a very proud British citizen, Stuart Hughes, poses without his union jack suit but with an equally British dressed car and the route map for the important Devon stage in this years’s Tour of Britain.

Sweetspots Hugh Roberts and Mick Bennett were among the speakers as was an old friend of cycling, Guy Elliott who is helping to get a Women’s UCI Stage race off the ground for 2014. Presentations were made including one to two of the race’s biggest cycling fans, the father and son Corkill duo well known for their distinctive hats.

Then Mick went through the route of the race stage by stage (click here to see details of each stage) before a question and answer session with national press for Mick and Hugh and then one to one Q&As with TV and journalists. Whilst all that was going on, there was a lot of talking and drinking going on in another room as guests networked with each other.


Mick Bennett & Hugh Roberts go through their speeches for the evening presentation.

With such an exciting route announced for the 2013 Edition of the race, there was plenty of talk about the racing and cycling in general but the celebration did have an air of uncertainty about it due to the fact Sweetspot, the company behind the country’s biggest cycle race, have been forced to reapply to run the race by British Cycling who own the title “Tour of Britain”.

Had the race been run under another name, likes others before it (PruTour etc), they would we understand be having to compete with the likes of ASO  and others who have been drawn to bid for the race after Sweetspot has made the event so successful since the first one in 2004, culminating in the best ever edition in 2012 where the crowds were the biggest ever according to Race Director Mick Bennett during his presentation later in the evening.


Peter Williams, riding in 2013 for IG Sigma Sport, poses with the jersey he won in the 2012 Tour of Britain.

With so many things these days being owned by foreign companies, let’s hope a British company, Sweetspot, are given the opportunity to continue to do what no-one has ever done since the original Tour of Britain and that’s make the race an annual event to look forward to.

With the route announced, the work will continue in the background on this year’s race but you can be sure with a tougher course and a British ‘10’ mile time trial part of the race, the race will suit a British rider like Alex Dowsett should his team race the event, or perhaps a Tour de France Champion in Bradley Wiggins. Having ‘Brad’ win his home Tour would certainly be a reason for a nationwide party!

We’ll have some exclusive features on the race soon on VeloUK.net


 Hugh Roberts presents race director Mick Bennett with a surprise gift, a watch for his 10 years of making the race a success.


Yanto Barker (UK Youth) and Russell Downing (NetApp-Endura) who have both ridden the event for many years watch the presentation of the race route by director Mick Bennett.


The place was packed for the celebration of 10 years of the Tour of Britain.


Two of the race’s biggest cycling fans, the father and son Corkill duo well known for their distinctive hats were special guests of the organisation at the launch.


James Moss (right) and Pete Williams were two of the riders at the launch of the race.


 Wherever the Tour of Britain is, ToBi is never far away as he shows off the map of the course for 2013


It was a quiet and empty place many hours earlier when Mick Bennett and others went through their speeches


Wouter Sybrandy (IG Sigma Sport) who suffered a heavy crash in the 2012 Tour of Britain but is back racing was brought on stage during the presentation.

Event Website: http://thetour.co.uk/home.php

Report, Results & Photos from the 2012 Edition


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Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

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