BRITAIN’S premier road cycling event will hit the streets of Malvern this September as the county hosts the start of the final stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, writes Rob George.
Worcester has been handed the honour of hosting the finale of the race which will conclude outside London for the first time in five years.
The final line-up of cyclists and teams will be revealed in the summer but a number of top cyclists and teams fresh from the Tour De France are expected to saddle up for the increasingly popular event which was revived in 2004 after a five year absence.
Worcester will mark the start of stage eight of the event on Sunday, September 10 in the heart of the city as cyclists head through Worcestershire to the finish in Cardiff.
The route through Worcestershire will include the likes of Pershore and Upton-upon-Severn, and cross the Malvern Hills at British Camp.
Jack Hegarty, Chief Executive/Managing Director of Malvern Hills District Council, welcomed the news which was revealed at launch event in Cardiff last night (Tuesday).
“Cycling is growing in popularity across the country and it will be a great opportunity to see some elite riders in action as well as showcase our beautiful part of the world,” he added.
Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, which is sponsoring the Worcester stage, said he was delighted to support the event.
“Many of our students and staff work as sports coaches and educators on both a voluntary and professional basis with children, schools and clubs.
“Safe cycling throughout Worcestershire is a cause well worth promoting and we are delighted to join our partners in the city and county in welcoming the Tour of Britain.”
A stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain last began in Worcester in 2014, when Michal Kwiatkowski won the stage which ended in Bristol.
Worcester also previously hosted the starts of the race in 2007 and 2008.
Race Director, Mick Bennett said: “The city of Worcester has always provided the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with a warm welcome and large crowds and we are sure that will be no different this September.
“For a city outside of London to have the opportunity to host the start of the final stage is a rare privilege, which we know Worcestershire will fully embrace,” he added.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event takes place between September 3 and 10.