EXCITEMENT is growing in South Lakeland about welcoming the OVO Tour of Britain cycling race again in September.
Stage Four of the eight-day race, known as ‘the Queens Stage’ as it’s the hardest stage in this year’s Tour of Britain, will finish in Kendal on Tuesday September 10 after visiting communities it has never passed through before. The 171.5km stage, will start in Gateshead and cross the Pennines before heading through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, passing through Sedbergh, Barbondale and Kirkby Lonsdale for the first time in its history before heading into Kendal up Beast Banks to tackle the 500-metre, 11 per cent average climb to finish the race on Greenside.
This will be the fourth time that the race has finished in Kendal and there are many exciting ways communities along the route can get involved.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s National Land Art competition is returning after the inaugural edition in 2018 captured the imagination of race fans across the UK. Communities, schools, clubs, businesses, land owners and farmers are once again being asked to come up with eye-catching creations in support of the race.
The Tour also offers a great opportunity for local businesses and communities along route of each stage to celebrate and embrace cycling as the race comes past their front door, as well as maximise on business opportunities from increased customers and visitors.
Cycling clubs and schools are being urged to get involved and an information pack is available with all you need to take part.
Information about all this and much more can be found at the OVO Tour Of Britain website at www.tourofbritain.co.uk.
Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “South Lakeland District Council is delighted to welcome the OVO Energy Tour of Britain once again – to finish in Kendal for the fifth time in 12 years but also to visit communities it has not passed through before.
“South Lakeland is also the perfect place to enjoy cycling and many other activities which make up an active lifestyle. We also pride ourselves on hosting many top-class cultural and sporting events and our enduring relationship with the Tour epitomises that. I would encourage as many people in the communities along the route to get involved and show the world what we have to offer.”
ITV4 will screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights programme of the best of the action. Coverage of the race will be shown internationally in over 120 countries. Live coverage of the race will be shown on the big screen indoors at Kendal Town Hall and at the finish location on Greenside
Cumbria County Council is the main sponsor and co-host for Stage 4 with the organisers SweetSpot, supported by South Lakeland District Council.
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 per cent of people who watched the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in Cumbria said they were inspired to cycle more often.
Last year Cumbria hosted two stages of the event, with Cumbria County Council reporting a £10.8m economic boost to the county, 240,000 spectators and 1.5 million UK TV viewers over the two days.