Route of this September’s edition of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race revealed
- First ever Grand Depart for Wales, with Anglesey to host the start
- First visit for the modern Tour to Edinburgh
- Return of race to Lancashire, Northumberland and East Anglia
- Hartside Fell in Cumbria to host race’s summit finish on Stage Five
- Iconic new London route to include Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus
The 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain has been officially launched in London this evening [Tuesday 17 March], with a route that includes the race’s toughest ever summit finish, a revamped final stage in the heart of London and a first ever Grand Depart for Wales.Other firsts for British Cycling’s premier road cycling event include a stage start in the Scottish capital Edinburgh and two stages taking in Northumberland and the north east of England.Having welcomed the Friends Life Tour of Britain annually since 2010, Wales will play host to the opening stage for the first time in the modern race’s history, with a stage which will take in all six regions of North Wales as it heads from Anglesey to Wrexham. It will also be the first time that the race has started on an island.
Stage Two sees the race return to the heart of Lancashire for the first time since 2010, with Ribble ValleyandPendle playing host to a stagefromClitheroetoColne, which will pass through the ForestofBowlandandDunsop Bridge, the geographic centre of the United Kingdon.Cockermouth in Cumbria will be the start venue for the first of two stages to include Scotland, with Stage Three heading through Carlisle, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders to the finish in the grounds of Floors Castle at Kelso.A second Scottish stage will begin from Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, showcasing some of the city’s iconic landscapes before heading through the Borders and Northumberland to the finish on the coast in Blyth.Stage Five will trace Hadrian’s Wall from Prudhoe in Northumberland into Cumbria and the Lake District before finishingatopHartside Fell in the Pennines. At five-miles long and 1,904-feet high, the climbwillprovide the highest and toughest summit finish in the modern Tour of Britain’s history.Friday 11 September’s stage will join two English cities with the peloton racing from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, the latter returning to the route for the first time since 2012.The penultimate stage will be the longest of the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain at 225-kilometres, headingfromFakenham in Norfolk to Ipswich in Suffolk, beforethefinal stage in the centre of London.The London stage presented by Transport for London will feature an entirely new route in 2015, starting and finishing on Regent Street St James and providing an iconic backdrop for Britain’s biggest professional cycle race which will take in Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Strand and Whitehall.In total eleven venues will welcome the modern Friends Life Tour of Britain for the first time in 2015.
Commenting on this year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain route, Mick Bennett, Race Director, said;
“Overall we are absolutely delighted with the course for the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain and believe it offers something for everybody across eight very different stages.
“Our hope and intention is to again encourage eight days of aggressive, uninhibited racing, the sort of action that we hope is becoming the trademark of the race. We want our national Tour to reflect the tough terrain which is part and parcel of our cycling scene in the UK, and to showcase both the race and the British countryside to spectators at the roadside and to the television audience both at home and around the world.”
Commenting on the announcement, Bob Howden, President of British Cycling said;
“At British Cycling, we measure the success of our major events strategy by the number of people who watch and are then inspired to participate in our sport and, as our national stage race and the biggest event of the year, the growing popularity of the Friends Life Tour of Britain is further proof that in this country cycling has never been in better health.
“This year’s route will excite any fan of cycling and further boosts the Friends Life Tour of Britain’s reputation as one of world cycling’s must-watch races, but it will also give people all over Britain a chance to see some of the world’s best riders in action and encourage them to get out on their bikes.”
Commenting on the brand new route for the London Stage presented by Transport for London, Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome back Britain’s biggest professional cycle race to the streets of the London. With a revamped route touching new areas of the city, I’ve no doubt that this year’s race will inspire a new breed of cyclists, who will soon be able to make use of our new and upgraded cycling infrastructure, including segregated Cycle Superhighways.”
Once again ITV will screen three-hours of live coverage of every stage, starting on ITV for the opening Wales stage before reverting to ITV4 for Stages Two to Eight. ITV4 will also screen a one-hour highlights programme each evening during the race.
UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification while ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and the King of the Mountains sponsors and Chain Reaction Cycles extend and expand their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification.
New partners Premier Inn will partner a trophy for the Best British Rider, alongside their similar award in the Friends Life Women’s Tour, while Italian tyre manufacturer Vittoria have been appointed the Official Tyre & Wheel Partner, providing neutral service via their Servizio Corse brand.
The Friends Life Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.
The Friends Life Tour of Britain
Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, the Friends Life Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep. The Friends Life Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event.
Upgraded to 2.HC level by the UCI, the sport’s governing body, for 2014, the Friends Life Tour of Britain attracts the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners, to compete on British roads each September, with three-hours of live coverage a day on ITV4.
For details of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, go to www.tourofbritain.co.uk
The Racing Chance Foundation
The growth in women’s cycling over the last few years has been phenomenal however there is still no clear structure in place for women who want to start competing and progress up the ranks. No-one can deny that there is now more television coverage of women’s cycling thanks to events such as the Johnson’s Health Tech Grand Prix Series and now The Women’s Tour, but there is no clear pathway for women who aspire to compete in such events.
Heather Bamforth talks through bike set up with riders.
The Racing Chance Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation so it has to remain transparent. It has been registered as a charity with the Charity Commission (charity number 1156835) and has four trustees – Heather Bamforth, Alan Gornall, Colin Batchelor and Carley Brierley. The charity’s intention is to provide a performance pathway for female cyclists in the UK who currently fall outside the existing track-based national programmes. As such, the focus for the Foundation (for the time being at least) will be based on the road. Membership of the Racing Chance Foundation costs just £5 per year and gives cyclists exclusive access to races, events, a club shop, and a wealth of cycling knowledge & information.
The Foundation is currently developing sessions for all levels, from novice to elite, to help those riders who wish to develop their competitive cycling careers, with the first sessions planned for January 2015. The aim is to provide assistance to riders by offering sessions that they can attend which will help develop their skills as competitive cyclists. In addition, rather than providing grants to specific riders, one of the Foundation’s ultimate ambitions is to invite riders (at both a development and elite level) to compete in races as the Racing Chance Foundation, both in the UK and abroad, which will be funded by the Foundation.
We will be releasing details shortly regarding criteria for our elite and development squads. What we can say in advance is that there won’t be a minimum number of licence points as a requirement.
The Foundation is affiliated to British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials and club membership is available to anybody (male or female) over the age of 16 (with parent/guardian permission if under the age of 18). We don’t believe in solely trying to attract female membership; indeed the first races that we are organising in 2015 are two men’s events on the tough Bole Hill circuit in the Peak District.
As charity, the Racing Chance Foundation relies on donations to keep it going. They already have kit designed by Bioracer which is available to order, with profits going into the charity and, once established, RCF hope to be able to sell branded items in their online shop. If you feel that you may be able to assist with the Foundation by supplying branded items, please email: [email protected]
The Trustees would like to thank Andrew Middleton of Towns Needham LLP for his invaluable assistance in registering the Foundation with the Charity Commission and Anna Magrath of Cycling Shorts for her assistance with the design and maintenace of the Foundation’s website and media management.
Further information can be found at the Foundation’s website (which is still partly in development): www.racingchancefoundation.com or by following them on Twitter and Facebook.
For press & media enquiries please contact: [email protected]
The start and finish lines have been announced for the first ever Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race. Bridlington, Leeds, Scarborough, Selby, Wakefield and York will all host a prestigious start or finish of the new UCI-approved 2.1 race.
The race, which will be held on 1-3 May, is expected to become a flagship cycling event in the UK in 2015 and an outstanding cycle race in the international calendar, including the participation of top international teams and cycling stars. It will be broadcast live on national TV and throughout Europe.
The full route details will be revealed on January 21st, on the 100 days to go to the race.
The Tour de Yorkshire is a new race being held by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) and Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY), supported by British Cycling.
Director of the Tour de France at A.S.O., Christian Prudhomme, said: “I am delighted we are returning to Yorkshire where we saw the grandest ever Grand Départ for the Tour de France. It is clear the people of Yorkshire are passionate about cycling and we can’t wait to bring them this new race.”
More than 3 million people turned out to see the Tour de France in Yorkshire and the economic impact has been put at well over £100million. Organisers say the new race will build on the hugely successful Grand Départ and is at the heart of Cycle Yorkshire, the legacy of the Tour de France.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is another huge milestone for Yorkshire as we position the county as the cycling heartland of Europe. This is the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, I am confident it will become a huge annual event and something that will raise Yorkshire’s profile year on year.”
Much of the new race will be in parts of the county the Tour de France didn’t touch.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The East Riding is an area with a great passion for cycling, a passion that can be summed up by the on-going success of the East Yorkshire Classic Cycling Weekend, which sees some of the country’s top cyclists ride through Beverley, and the mass participation of the recent Sky Ride Local scheme. Hosting a major sporting event will have untold benefits for the whole county in terms of tourism and boosting the local economy and the council will make every effort to capitalise on this.”
The deputy leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Councillor Carl Les, added: “There is no doubt the Tour de France was a huge boost for North Yorkshire and we’re keen to support this new race, which will further strengthen the region’s economy. After the dales benefited directly from the Tour de France, we’re particularly pleased to welcome the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire to North Yorkshire’s beautiful east coast and moors.”
British Cycling are supporting the new race and their President, Bob Howden, said: “This new annual race partnering Welcome to Yorkshire and A.S.O. with British Cycling will help to maintain the legacy progress gained so far, helping us to achieve our collective goals of inspiring more people to get on their bikes and get active. Events of this calibre show to the world that Britain has what it takes to be the par excellence deliverer of iconic world class showpieces.”
The race will have three stages over the Bank Holiday weekend in May running from Friday through to Sunday.
A mass sportive with several distances where people can ride the same route as the Pros will be held on day three (3 May) and thousands are expected to take part in what will be a historic first for the county. The mass ride will be delivered by Human Race – owners of the Dragon Ride and many other sportives – in collaboration with the Tour de Yorkshire organisers. Starting today, people can apply to enter the sportive on the Tour de Yorkshire website in order to enjoy a privileged entry fee www.letouryorkshire.com
Bernard Hinault, five times Tour de France winner, said: “The Tour de France has had a sportive alongside it for many years and it’s a unique experience for amateur riders to ride at L’Etape; so to have this similar experience available at the Tour de Yorkshire will be magnifique and something all keen riders will want to be part of.”
The Tour de Yorkshire will be an annual event with 2015 being the inaugural race.
Images ©CyclingShorts.cc / ChrisMaher.co.uk – 2014 Tour de france Grand Depart.
Defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky’s squad at the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain, which begins in Liverpool on Sunday 7 September.
Wiggins returns to the Friends Life Tour of Britain after winning the race in 2013 and this year he will line up alongside fellow British riders Ian Stannard and Ben Swift as part of a six-man squad.
The 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain starts in Liverpool this weekend and finishes in London on Sunday 14 September, taking in eight tough stages along the way. Following the spectacular Tour de France Grand Départ leaving from the UK last July this is another opportunity for fans to see Team Sky on British roads.
On Sunday 7 September Liverpool will host to two major cycling events. In the morning Sky will host the first ever Sky Ride Liverpool event, where cyclists of all ages and abilities are able to enjoy a fun day of cycling through a traffic-free route in the city centre, which is free for all to enter. This will be followed in the afternoon by Stage One of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, the country’s largest professional cycle race.
Sir Bradley Wiggins will be joined in a six-man line up by: Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Bernhard Eisel, David Lopez and Sebastian Henao.
Speaking about racing the eleventh edition of the race, Sir Bradley Wiggins said: “The Tour of Britain is a special race for me so to be returning as defending champion is a real honour.
“It’s always been a tough race but the support we receive from the fans is incredible, and it’s our home tour so I’ve always enjoyed racing it.
“From the start of the year it’s always been a goal of mine to race to the Tour of Britain. The race is growing in stature year on year and it’s our chance to go there with a strong team and race in front of home fans to thank them for their support over the season.
“Cycling’s now more popular than ever before in the UK with over a million more people are getting out on their bikes. This is great for the sport we love and Sky and British Cycling have been at the heart of this transformation, so having a Sky Ride start on the same day as Stage One in Liverpool is brilliant. Hopefully it will inspire people to go on Sky Ride in the morning and then cheer us on in the afternoon.”
The Team Sky squad for the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain will be:
Sir Bradley Wiggins, United Kingdom – age 34
Returning to the race with the number one of defending champion on his back, Bradley has one of the most impressive palmares in all of modern day cycling. The 2012 Tour de France winner knows the Tour of Britain well having ridden in five of the last six editions.
Bernhard Eisel, Austria – age 33
A Classics specialist, Bernie is comfortable no matter what the British weather throws at the peloton. Another Tour of Britain regular and established road captain, the Austrian is always a fan-favourite after 14 seasons as a pro.
Sebastian Henao, Columbia – age 21
Sebastian has enjoyed a memorable first season as a pro and made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia as the youngest rider in the race. The race brings his first taste of British roads but he should excel on the punchy climbs.
David Lopez, Spain – age 33
A member of Team Sky’s Tour de France squad on both his first two seasons with the team, David is one of the best climbing domestiques in the business and finished fourth in his own right at the Tour of Britain last season.
Ian Stannard, United Kingdom – age 27
British fans will be happy to see Ian back in action following a bad crash during the Spring Classics. One of the most powerful men in the peloton, he enjoys nothing more than putting the hammer down in difficult conditions.
Ben Swift, United Kingdom – age 26
One of three Brits in the team, Ben is a fast finisher who claimed his first professional victory back at the 2009 Tour of Britain. Able to win big bunch kicks or sprint from a select group, he will be looking to target more success in this race.