Town turns out to take in the action - The Evesham Observer

Town turns out to take in the action

Evesham Editorial 21st Sep, 2019   0

ORGANISERS of the Tour of Britain have saddled up in a bid to grow the event even further following the 2019 extravaganza which saw a time trial take place in Pershore.

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel took victory on Saturday (September 14) as the 16th edition of the modern Tour of Britain came to a conclusion in Manchester city centre, with an estimated 500,000 fans having seen the final stage race through all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

With less than a week to go until the road World Championships take place in Yorkshire for the first time, the cycling world’s spotlight remains on Britain, with the previous two Tour of Britain champions the favourites for success.

Up to 120 of the world’s best cyclists rode through Pershore and more than 5,000 spectators were expected to flock to the town centre for stage six of the race last Thursday (September 12).

The time trial route, which started and finished in Pershore, is the first time a stage has been set entirely within Worcestershire.

“Mathieu van der Poel has proved himself to be a worthy candidate for the rainbow jersey of World Champion with his two stage wins and attacking racing this week,” said Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett.

“The fact that he will be going head-to-head with our 2018 winner Julian Alaphillipe shows the strength of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the quality of the field that the event continues to attract.

“For us, to see either crowned would be a dream scenario and an endorsement of the race.”

Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot and British Cycling have applied to become part of the new UCI ProSeries for 2020 and are also seeking an additional, ninth day for the event in order to continue to take the Tour to new areas of the UK and create cycling festivals around the overall start and finish.

The Tour’s first-ever Cornwall stage will open next September’s race, with more details of the route to be announced in the Autumn, including the location of the overall race finish, as organisers seek to increase the range of mass participation events, corporate rides and cycling festivals associated with Britain’s leading cycling event.

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