Tuesday 23 July 2024
15.1 C

Tour of Britain: Start and finish locations revealed for Nottinghamshire stage

Nottinghamshire’s world-famous Sherwood Forest will provide a stunning backdrop to the Tour of Britain cycle race when it returns to the county later this year.

Stage four of the showpiece event will start at Forest Corner in Edwinstowe – a short distance away from the iconic Major Oak and RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre – before finishing in Newark-on-Trent on Wednesday 6 September.

The full route will be launched soon, but the world-class field of riders will pass through several towns and villages in the districts of Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood along the 170-kilometre stage.

Popular visitor destinations Southwell Minster and Clumber Park will also feature on the stage as Nottinghamshire gears up to host the Tour for a fourth time since 2017.

Nottinghamshire County Council Leader, Councillor Ben Bradley MP, said: “The Tour of Britain’s return is fantastic news, and I cannot wait to welcome the teams as well as the spectators who will come to our towns and villages in their thousands to cheer on the riders.

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“The stage will once again provide us with a brilliant opportunity to showcase Nottinghamshire to a global television audience of millions and help shine a light on why it is such a great place to live, work and visit.

“We enjoyed three incredible days when the race came to the county in 2017, 2018 and last year, with the 2022 stage boosting our local economy by more than £4 million and hailed for having the best crowds of the whole race by organisers.

“I look forward to seeing miles of bunting, flags, yellow bikes and creative displays along the route – so don’t forget to look out for more details in the coming weeks about how you can play your part in this year’s race.”

Cllr John Cottee, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said he was looking forward to the race’s return and was delighted the whole stage is taking place in Robin Hood Country.

He said: “Our wonderful county is known across the globe for its sporting heritage and hosting the race for a fourth time in seven years is recognition that we have what it takes to successfully stage major sporting events.

“It really is exciting news that this year’s stage will start a short distance away from the true home of Robin Hood, the Major Oak in the heart of Sherwood Forest.

“I am sure the people of Newark are also hugely excited their town will be hosting the stage finish and will be counting down the months, weeks, and days to the race’s return.

“As a council, we are delighted the Tour of Britain will once again be coming back to Nottinghamshire and I’m looking forward to working with our partners to ensure it’s going to be yet another hugely successful day for us all.”

The return of the race to Nottinghamshire last year boosted the local economy by £4.34m – with an impressive 225,000 fans lining the 116-mile route.

Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, added to the county’s support for the Tour.

He said: “I’m delighted to see that the Tour of Britain is returning to the district, we have some amazing communities who really embrace the tour, villages such as Edwinstowe, Farnsfield and Blidworth have really made the effort to decorate the village and welcome the race previously.

“This year with the race stage starting at Forest Corner and finishing in Newark more of our communities will have the chance to support the event.

“Newark is no stranger to cycling events with the Town Centre Races taking place at the end of July.

“The Tour coming to Newark will be great for local business, with more visitors encouraged to come into the district alongside our local residents who will be out too watching this amazing spectacle.”

Cllr Lynne Schuller, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “I am delighted that the Tour of Britain will be returning to Bassetlaw and Nottinghamshire.

“I hope that the opportunity to watch some of the world’s best cyclists and cycling teams will inspire people to become more active and healthy.

“Bassetlaw is a fantastic place to explore on a bike and the Tour will showcase some great routes across our beautiful district and county.”

Gemma Howarth, RSPB Area Manager for the East Midlands, said: “We are thrilled that RSPB Sherwood Forest has been selected as the starting point for this stage of the Tour of Britain. Sherwood is such a culturally iconic British location, which attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe.

“So, to have the world’s top cyclists coming to Robin Hood’s Forest makes it a perfect fit and a very exciting occasion for the RSPB, the county and the community of Edwinstowe.”

Nottinghamshire is also home to the reigning champions of the race’s National Land Art Competition – with the community-inspired Spike on a Bike hedgehog creation in Keyworth the unanimous winner of the 2022 prize.

Full details of stage four and which teams and riders will be competing in the race will be announced in due course.

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “Given the size of the crowd and the wall of noise that greeted the world’s best riders for our last stage in Nottinghamshire in 2022, it makes perfect sense to return there this year.

“I reckon we’re going to be treated to another thrilling day of world-class, free-to-watch, sporting action, set to a backdrop of some the most spectacular scenery Great Britain has to offer.

“The continued support of our stakeholders in Nottinghamshire cannot be overlooked and I thank them for their passion in helping make the Tour’s visits to Robin Hood Country a lasting memory for so many.”

The modern-day Tour of Britain was launched in 2004 and – apart from the Covid-19 pandemic forcing its cancellation in 2020 – has taken place annually every September over eight days.

It is British cycling’s premier road event and will feature the world’s top teams and riders, alongside the best British-based cyclists, with a field expected to be made up of Tour de France winners, Olympians, and world champions.

Live coverage of the race is shown daily in the UK on ITV4, in addition to around the world.

The Tour of Britain is part of the UCI ProSeries, making it one of the most prestigious sporting events in the sport’s global calendar.

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