Cumbria will once again be hosting the Tour of Britain when the country’s premier road cycling race heads to the county in September.
It is the second consecutive year that Cumbria has been chosen for one of Britain’s top sporting events and represents a major coup for the county council, which will co-host the race.
Cumbria will feature extensively during Stage 4 of the 2019 race, which starts in Gateshead and finishes in Kendal on Tuesday 10 September.
Some of the sport’s biggest names will be competing in this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain and Cumbria is once again in line for a potential multi-million pound economic boost from hosting the race. Last year Cumbria received an £11m economic benefit from hosting two full stages of The Tour.
This year’s Stage 4 route will take the OVO Energy Tour of Britain through several western Yorkshire Dales communities in Cumbria for the first time, including Brough, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale.
It will culminate with a finish on the challenging climb up Beast Banks in Kendal, where a dramatic finish was witnessed by 10,000 spectators when the town last hosted the race in 2016.
Cumbria County Council has agreed to co-host Stage 4 of the 2019 race with the organisers SweetSpot and will be working with local delivery partners to make the most of the event.
One of the key aims of hosting the Tour will be to encourage more people to get on their bikes and take up cycling, promoting health benefits for young and old alike. Last year up to 61% of people who watched the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in Cumbria said they were inspired to cycle more often.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Transport, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Cumbria will again be hosting the Tour of Britain, especially as the race will be taking in a number of communities in Eden and South Lakeland for the first time. I’m sure this will bring another huge boost to our economy and it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the county’s magnificent landscape and scenery to a worldwide television audience.”
Commenting on the announcement, OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said, “Cumbria has become a cornerstone of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, thanks to its beautiful scenery, testing climbs and passionate support.
“We are delighted that this year’s route will take in new parts of the county and new climbs, while also enabling us to use the iconic finish in Kendal that has become one of the most popular with cycling fans in the UK. The Cumbria stages of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain never fail to produce dramatic racing, and this year’s will be no different.”
Each stage of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain will be televised live on ITV4 and will also be watched by millions of television viewers around the world.