North-east to host UK’s biggest and longest-running international cycle race
Monday November 11th 2019 at 2:00 PM
It’s been confirmed the North-east will host the UK’s biggest and longest-running international cycle event.
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have agreed a deal to host the Tour of Britain in 2020 and 2021, starting with the final stage of next year’s race on Sunday, 13 September.
It comes after the success of the OVO Energy Tour Series, which has taken place on the streets of the Granite City since 2017.
As well as hosting the last stage of next year’s competition, the Grand Depart for the 2021 race will also take place in the North-east.
It’s the first time the Tour of Britain has visited the region and will be the furthest north the modern edition of the race has ever been.
The winner of the competition, which is currently held by Mathieu van der Poel from the Netherlands, will be crowned in Aberdeen city centre, with full details of the stage route to be released in the coming months.
It’s hoped the tour, which is broadcast all over the world, will bring a raft of benefits for tourism and communities in the North-east, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle through cycling.
In addition to the race, a number of supporting events and activities will take place in the run up to the stage, as well as on the day.
Mick Bennett, race director for the Tour of Britain, said: “Following the success of the Tour Series’ visits there since 2017, we’re delighted that the final stage of next year’s Tour of Britain
will be heading to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
“With its mix of stunning landscapes, historic architecture, passionate fans and gruelling terrain it promises to be a spectacular finale to the UK’s biggest bike race.
“It’s going to be a historic stage: the modern edition of the Tour has never been so far north before, so I’d like to thank everybody who has made it possible. Roll on September!”
Julie Harrington, CEO of British Cycling, said: “On behalf of British Cycling, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire on being selected as the host destination for the finish of the Tour of Britain.
“Aberdeen has done a wonderful job in staging rounds of the Tour Series in the past few years, and will once again provide a fitting backdrop as the Tour of Britain concludes there next year.”
2020 will mark the 17th edition of the modern Tour of Britain, with the competition taking place between Sunday, 6 September, and Sunday, 13 September.
This year’s installment of the event generated a net impact of £20.5 mil for the UK economy and attracted a roadside audience of 1.4 mil cycling fans.
Earlier this month, race organisers announced they were looking for a new title partner, after the three-year partnership with OVO Energy came to an end.
Labour co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, Cllr Jenny Laing, said: “Securing the Tour of Britain is a sign of our ambition and determination as a Council to bring the biggest, best and most
vibrant events to Aberdeen and the north-east. I have no doubt it will be a huge attraction to local audiences as well as bringing in visitors from throughout Britain and across the world.
“Through our Aberdeen 365 events strategy we have established a world class programme and this represents another fantastic addition to a calendar that is not only of benefit to local residents culturally but also to our economy by driving footfall and visitor spend. We look forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain and showcasing Aberdeen.”
Cllr Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning landscapes of our region to a global audience, attract spectators both locally and from afar to enjoy world-class cycling and to support our economy through hotel stays, or spending money in local shops and businesses.
“I also hope that the residents and business community of the North East get involved, either as spectators, through sponsorship or by getting involved in one of the many supporting events that we expect to take place during the event. This will be a truly celebratory event that will put the region firmly on the map as a destination for world class sporting events, tourism and business.”