“Superb support” from Cotswolds for Tour of Britain competitors
Release date: 11 September 2017
Organisers of the OVO Tour of Britain cycle race and several participants have thanked local residents and visitors for creating such a special atmosphere during Stage 7 of the event on Saturday 9 September.
Despite a mixture of sunshine and showers, large crowds turned up to greet the riders, and also stayed to enjoy the festival atmosphere generated by local communities and traders. Live TV coverage captured the excitement of the occasion and the thrills and spills of the race, including several Sprint and King of the Mountain sections, culminating in a heart-stopping finale at the finish line in Cheltenham as Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen won by a whisker.
Viewers in the UK and abroad were treated to wonderful scenery as the riders passed through Charlbury, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Milton-under-Wychwood, Upper Rissington, Little Rissington, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Toddington, Gretton, Winchcombe and Cleeve Hill before finally arriving in Cheltenham.
Race Director Mick Bennett commented:
“We would like to thank all of the towns, villages and communities throughout the Cotswolds for their support, which was superb despite the adverse weather on the day. The Cotswolds provided an amazing backdrop to the race and we look forward to building on the success of the event and returning in the future.”
Cotswolds Tourism worked closely with the BIKE Channel Canyon team to promote the event locally, and their lead cyclist Witney-based Dexter Gardias enthused about the atmosphere on the day:
“This has been the first Tour of Britain for me and the team and we have all been very impressed. It’s a great race - very competitive and really well organised with late nights and early starts. As expected, the last 40 km of Stage 7 was really hard and the excitement was tangible with the crowds cheering us on.”
His teammate, and Cotswold resident, James Lowsley-Williams was disqualified during an earlier stage but was a keen spectator on Saturday:
“I knew that this would be a very exciting stage, with some big crowds along the route. I was in Cheltenham at the finish and it was great fun seeing the race transiting the Cotswolds on the big screen and seeing the close finish.”
Cllr Chris Hancock, Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Partnerships at Cotswold District Council, was equally impressed:
“Just as we hoped, this race proved to be an excellent showcase for promoting visits to the Cotswolds. I would like to thank everyone who got behind this event, including local traders, community organisers, the public and the vintage cyclists from the Great British Bike Build who provided memorable warm-up events in several locations. There was a real buzz as the riders sped along the route, cheered on by such large crowds.
“The local countryside and the attractive villages looked a treat on the TV, thanks in part to a comprehensive cleansing programme carried out by the Council’s environmental services provider Ubico Ltd, and I am very grateful to them for their extra efforts.”
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is a major cycling event in the UK. It also has the potential to draw a large number of visitors and spectators, bringing considerable economic boost, increased overnight stays and provides the opportunity to showcase the Cotswolds. For example, in 2013 the Sidmouth to Dartmoor stage attracted 188,000 day visitors and 62,000 overnight visitors.
About Cotswolds Tourism
Cotswolds Tourism is the official Destination Management Organisation promoting and marketing tourism across the Cotswolds. Cotswolds Tourism is a partnership of tourism businesses, supported by local authorities of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Stroud District Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and the Cotswolds Conservation Board. Cotswolds Tourism’s priority is to grow the area’s Visitor Economy by raising awareness of the destination and generating additional tourism visits and spend.
For more information see www.cotswolds.com/tourofbritain(opens in a new window)(opens in a new window) or telephone 01285 623050
About BIKE Channel Canyon
BIKE Channel Canyon is a British professional road cycling team, founded in November 2016 by former Pedal Heaven sports director Tim Elverson, in partnership with TV channel BIKE and German bike manufacturer Canyon. Elverson immediately applied for - and was granted - a UCI Continental licence and the outfit currently race on the Europe Tour. You can follow the fortunes of the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on the website bikechannelcanyon.co.uk
About OVO Energy The Tour of Britain
OVO Energy, the UK’s top rated independent energy supplier was recently announced as the title sponsor of the Tour of Britain.
Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, the OVO Energy 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 OVO Energy Tour of Britain is the UK’s highest ranked professional stage race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event, organised annually by SweetSpot Group.
Ranked at the 2.HC level by the UCI, the OVO Energy 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.
The OVO Energy 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, taking place between Sunday 3 and Sunday 10 September 2017.
The official hashtag is now #OVOToB