Gear up for the Tour of Britain
Some of the world’s top cyclists are set to tackle a gruelling route through a number of Cumbrian towns as the Tour of Britain makes its annual return.
Cycling enthusiasts will line the route of the UK’s biggest professional cycle race with the hope of seeing big names in the world of cycling, such as Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish as they drive through the county.
Stage Two of the tour will begin in Carlisle city centre, heading through the heart of Cumbria and the Lake District and passing through Penrith, Cockermouth, Keswick and Ambleside, before the finish atop the testing 11% climb of Beast Banks in Kendal.
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr Colin Glover, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back the Tour of Britain this autumn. Cumbria will once again be showcased to a global audience and we’re thrilled to be part of an exciting event that attracts thousands of spectators. We look forward to providing a warm welcome to the Tour of Britain competitors and supporters.
“Carlisle and other parts of Cumbria were badly affected by the December storms and the Tour of Britain will send a clear message that ‘Cumbria is open for business’ and provide a boost to hard hit businesses and communities across the county.”
The proposed 195-kilometre route includes the climbs of Whinlatter Pass above Derwent Water, averaging 4% over its six-kilometre length and the iconic climb of The Struggle, which will be inside the final 30-kilometres of racing, rising from Ambleside to the Kirkstone Pass at an average gradient of 8%.
Cllr David Southward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Cumbria County Council, said: “We’re delighted that the Tour is coming back to Cumbria. It’s one of the country’s premier sporting events and I hope this announcement underlines that Cumbria is very much ‘open for business’ following December’s floods.
“This year’s stage will doubtless provide an exciting sporting spectacle and showcase the best of Cumbria’s communities and landscape. The economic boost it brings the county is significant, with the 2015 race generating a net economic benefit of £3.4m we hope the 2016 edition will have a similar impact.”
The last time the race was held in Cumbria was in 2013, when it started in Carlisle and finished in Kendal after passing through Whitehaven, Cleator Moor, Frizington and the heart of the Lake District, including the packed crowds of Honister Pass. That stage was described by commentators as the ‘best ever’ stage of the race and generated £4.1m for the local economy.