The stage launch will take place tomorrow, Wednesday July 18, at Trentham Gardens from 11am and Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett will be joined by dignitaries from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and riders and management from the local Node4 - Giordana Racing team, who will compete in The Tour for a fifth successive occasion.
Stoke-on-Trent is celebrating five years of Britain’s greatest bike race visiting The Potteries. This year on Thursday September 13, the race will take a 150-kilometre route heading through Stone, Stafford, Rugeley and Uttoxeter, featuring SKODA King of the Mountains climbs on Cannock Chase, in the Staffordshire Moorlands and at traditional race-favourite Gun Hill, before finishing in the City Centre.
Councillor Mark Meredith, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Our city has a brilliant track record when it comes to staging world class sporting events like this. “Seeing high-profile riders racing is an inspiration to all the spectators who line the streets to enjoy the race and more people are getting involved in sport and cycling as a result.
“It is great to see Stoke-on-Trent on TV and recognised as such a brilliant place to host The Tour of Britain stage.
“This will be the fifth year that Stoke-on-Trent has hosted the race and it promises to create a great atmosphere in the city once again. It is a free to watch race which will be a real spectacle for residents to enjoy, generating a great ‘feel good’ factor for everyone in our city.”
Cycling fans are encouraged to return to the city ten days later to sample the stage for themselves in The Tour Ride Stoke-on-Trent mass participation sportive on Sunday September 23, which features a 169-kilometre Pro Ride and a shorter 98-kilometre Challenge Ride, both starting and finishing from the Trentham Estate.
“Stoke-on-Trent has been an important venue for The Tour of Britain for five years now, with the challenging stage often playing a part in shaping the overall classification,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director.
“This year will be no different, and we look forward to continuing to work with Stoke-on-Trent City Council for many years to come with The Tour and our other events, and welcoming many thousands of spectators and participants to the race and accompanying Tour Ride.”
Winner of the first ever Tour of Britain stage finish in Stoke-on-Trent, Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Sky commented:
"Riding around Stoke has nice memories for me and I remember both stage wins in 2008 and 2009. The crowds you get there are always big and noisy and it's good to know The Tour of Britain will be visiting the city again in 2012."
Norwegian Boasson Hagen is one of three riders to have won stages of The Tour of Britain in Stoke-on-Trent, being joined on the list by Greg Henderson (2010) and Lars Boom (2011), the latter of whom went on to win the IG Markets Gold Jersey and overall race.
The popular Trentham Gardens stage start returns after attracting large crowds in 2011, with riders leaving the Italian Gardens at 10.30am. The race is expected to finish on Old Hall Street in the City Centre at around 2pm, having taken in a new route for 2012 that sees Cannock Chase return to The Tour of Britain for the first time since 2006.
More details of The Tour Ride Stoke-on-Trent can be found at www.tourride.co.uk where riders can sign-up to take on their
challenge and ride the Stoke-on-Trent Stage of The Tour of Britain.
– Ends –
Notes to Editors
Stage Five, The Stoke-on-Trent Stage, Thursday 13th September
Start 10.30 Trentham Gdns,Stoke-on-Trent
Yodel Sprint 7.3km 10.54 Stone
SKODA King of the Mountains 29.2km 11.22 Glacial Boulder - Cannock Chase
Yodel Sprint 58.5km 12.00 Uttoxeter
Yodel Sprint 67.4km 12.11 Rocester
SKODA King of the Mountains 84.0km 12.33 Oakamoor Moorside (Cat.2)
Feed Zone 84.8km 12.34 Moorside
SKODA King of the Mountains 116.8km 13.15 Gun Hill (Cat.1)
Finish 147.0km 13.54 Old Hall Street, City Centre
The Tour of Britain
The 2012 Tour of Britain will take place between Sunday 9th and Sunday 16th September 2012
Stage One Sunday 9th September Ipswich to Norfolk Showground
Stage Two Monday 10th September Nottingham to Knowsley
Stage Three Tuesday11th September Jedburgh to Dumfries
Stage Four Wednesday 12th September Carlisle to Blackpool
Stage Five Thursday 13th September The Stoke-on-Trent Stage
Stage Six Friday 14th September Welshpool to Caerphilly
Stage Seven Saturday 15th September Barnstaple to Dartmouth
Stage Eight Sunday 16th September Reigate to Guildford
Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, The Tour of Britain is now the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event.
Ranked at the 2.1 level by the UCI, the sport’s governing body, The Tour of Britain attracts some of the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners, to compete on British roads each September.
The Tour of Britain is proud to be partnered with IG Markets, SKODA and Yodel.
The Tour Ride
Launched in 2009, The Tour Rides give amateur cyclists the chance to take on the challenge of Tour of Britain routes every year.
Rides have been held in London, the South West, Stoke-on-Trent, East Anglia, Wales and Scotland, with over 10,000 cyclists having taken on the challenge since 2009.
For more details, please visit www.tourride.co.uk
For details of The Tour of Britain, go to www.tourofbritain.co.uk
You can follow The Tour of Britain on Twitter, via www.twitter.com/tourofbritain
For further press information, logos and images, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Peter Hodges PR Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 0870 112 8650
For all media enquiries contact Ciara Hill in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232130.