A summer of cycling as the Tour of Britain comes to Gloucestershire

Promotional Business Feature: Gloucestershire County Council
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Gloucestershire County Council is celebrating a summer of cycling, hosting both the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain, and this is your chance to get involved.

The county council is the primary local sponsor for both races securing both routes covering the length and breadth of Gloucestershire. The races have been sponsored as part of the council’s commitment to showcasing the county and supporting tourism, the local economy and active travel.

The council wants to work with businesses to help make the Tour of Britain a success, with exclusive sponsorship deals on offer. Communities and schools along the route will support the race as it goes past, with businesses able to get involved through sponsorship opportunities.

Each race is the biggest of its kind in the UK, is a key part of the UCI’s elite level race calendar and consistently delivers a world-class field of athletes cheered on by large crowds at the roadside and at the start and finish events.

The 2022 Women’s Tour featured 13 of the top 14 world ranked professional Women’s teams, and among the riders was current British road race champion Pfeiffer Georgi.

The Tour of Britain, which will announce the teams and riders for 2022 later in the summer, similarly attracts a stellar cast. The likes of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Primoz Roglic, Julian Alaphilippe, Wout Van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Dumoulin, Caleb Ewan and Sir Bradley Wiggins have all competed and enjoyed success in the event.

The Women’s Tour

The Women’s Tour raced through the county on Wednesday, 8 June, with Team DSM’s Lorena Wiebes sprinting to victory on Gloucester’s Southgate Street.

Large crowds saw the race depart from the beautiful medieval town of Tewkesbury and, after a challenging route through the iconic Forest of Dean, people lined historic Gloucester streets to see a sprint finish on Southgate Street.

The race was able to pass through a number of the county’s communities, including Newent, Coleford, Lydney and Cinderford in the Forest of Dean.

London 2012 Paralympian Mel Nicholls raised the flag to start the race in her hometown of Tewkesbury, with TV sport presenter Jill Douglas presenting the champagne to the winners in Gloucester.

The 2022 Women’s Tour was won by Italian road race champion Elisa Longo Borghini. Also taking part was Gloucestershire-based British road race champion Pfeiffer Georgi who had the rare opportunity to compete on home turf.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The Women’s Tour provided a fantastic opportunity to kick off our summer of cycling. We always wanted 2022 to be an opportunity to build on the work we’ve already done in re-establishing tourism and business after the pandemic. The Women’s Race provided a brilliant opportunity to showcase the amazing county we have.“

 “The race was a celebration of our county, but also a recognition of the huge investment we are putting into cycling and more to come.”

Tour of Britain

The UK’s most prestigious cycle race, the Tour of Britain, will also come to the county this year. Stage six of the race will start in Tewkesbury on Friday, 9 September. It will finish in Gloucester, after a route which will see the peloton race through the Cotswolds and Stroud – taking in villages and towns across Gloucestershire, including Bishop’s Cleeve, Cirencester, Tetbury, Dursley and Stroud.

As with the Women’s Tour, it will be the first time that our picturesque county has provided the backdrop for a full day of the race. The race has consistently attracted an outstanding field with Belgian star Wout van Aert winning the 2021 edition of the race, ahead of Brit Ethan Hayter in second, with current road race World Champion, and former Tour of Britain winner, Julian Alaphilippe in third.

Cllr David Gray, Cabinet member for the environment at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We can’t wait to welcome the 2022 Tour of Britain to our county and to once again experience the electric atmosphere these races bring.

“The short-term benefits of these events are the economic impact they can provide to communities, not just at the start and finish but across the 169km route and county as a whole.

In addition to this, the long-term benefits are about inspiring a generation to get out on their bikes and to visit the county. This can help us to address our climate emergency by switching to an active mode of travel and create a Greener Gloucestershire as well as supporting the local economy.”

The Tour of Britain 2021 heads through St Ives (SWpix)Bringing the benefits to Gloucestershire

The county council has supported both races to bring them to Gloucestershire as part of its commitment to showcasing the area and to supporting tourism, the local economy and active travel.

The Tour of Britain will provide an opportunity to showcase what the county has to offer, with the race being televised live on ITV4 in the UK and around the world by Eurosport and the Global Cycling Network (GCN), as well as an hour-long evening highlights programme on ITV4.

This coverage will allow Gloucestershire to show off the outstanding scenery, environment and communities it has to offer on a global scale. The council invites our businesses to make the most of this opportunity by getting involved with the race and taking advantage of the exclusive sponsorship opportunities on offer.

Later in the year a land art competition will see just how creative communities can be in showcasing all that is special in the county which will be seen on national television from the helicopter coverage. Get your thinking caps on now!

The 2021 Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain were estimated to bring over £34 million in economic benefits to the country, with 1.3 million spectators watching the races from the roadside, and a TV audience of more than 22 million people in the UK and around the world.

Gloucestershire County Council is committed to investing in cycling infrastructure as part of its commitment to tackling climate change and creating a Greener Gloucestershire.

Investing in cycling will help to improve air quality by reducing carbon emissions from transport, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of residents. As part of this investment, the council is building a 26-mile cycle spine through the county from Stroud to Bishop’s Cleeve.

Colin Chick, Executive Director of economy, environment and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain bring huge benefits to our county whether it be tourism, the local economy, or inspiring people to get out on their bikes.

We want to ensure residents and businesses across Gloucestershire feel the benefits of bringing these races to our doorstep.

“Events such as these are key to helping our economy thrive and showcase, to a significant international audience, all that Gloucestershire has to offer.”

Sponsorship opportunities still available

Any companies or individuals who want to get involved and support the event or are interested in taking advantage of exclusive sponsorship opportunities for Gloucestershire’s stage of the Tour of Britain should contact Angela Presdee, Economic Development Officer at Gloucestershire County Council, for more information at angela.presdee@gloucestershire.gov.uk  or call 01452 328309

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More info (as it becomes available) on the September event, including on the day activities and road closures, is available at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/Tour-of-Britain

Or  by following Gloucestershire County Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagramor by visiting the Tour of Britain’s webpage www.tourofbritain.co.uk

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