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Tour of Britain cycling race to come to Cornwall?

Tour of Britain cycling race to come to Cornwall?

Published by Emma Carton at 8:25am 2nd October 2018.

By Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

The Tour of Britain cycling race could come to Cornwall in 2020 under plans which are being drawn up.

In November, Cornwall Council’s leading Cabinet is set to consider whether to underwrite the event at a cost of £345,000.

If agreed then a bid will be made to host the grand depart stage of the race which could attract up to 170,000 spectators and generate around £3.4million for the economy.

And organisers have said that if the event is successful then it could lead to bidding for a stage of the prestigious Tour de France to be hosted in Cornwall.

An all-member briefing at County Hall heard that a working group has been looking at the possibility of drawing up a bid to host a stage of the race and that marketing firm Ninety-Five has been commissioned to work on the project.

Councillors heard that the race has been growing in popularity and has attracted some of the world’s best cyclists, with Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, from Wales, among those who competed in this year’s event.

Devon has hosted 10 stages over 10 years and has seen it boost the economy by £40m.

The event is also televised on ITV4 and Eurosport, bringing additional exposure to the host areas.

In drawing up its plans the working group has looked at previous big events hosted in Cornwall including the Olympic torch relay and the Man Engine.

The idea has also gained support from five of Cornwall’s six MPs and the cycling community along with a large number of town and parish councils.

cycling 1
The Tour of Britain cycling race could come to Cornwall in 2020 under new plans which are being drawn up

If successful the Tour of Britain would come to Cornwall in September 2020 and those behind the project said the date could be significant as it would follow the Tokyo Olympics, where British cyclists are expected to compete, and it is hoped that they might then take part in the Tour of Britain.

The date is also significant as it is expected that the Stadium for Cornwall would be opening for its first full season and the Hall for Cornwall is also due to reopen.

Councillors heard that the estimated cost of hosting a stage of the race would be £345,000, with £200,000 going to organisers SweetSpot Group. The other £145,000 would be to cover the council’s costs and is based on figures provided by Devon County Council.

For the SweetSpot fee the company handles the project management, PR, all risk assessments and health and safety, all barriers and many other elements.

Councillor David Harris welcomed the idea but said that rather than just host the event once the council should be aiming to get it for several years with an aim of repeating what Yorkshire had done in then hosting a stage of the Tour de France.

Tamsin Daniel, interim culture manager at Cornwall Council, said: “What we are looking to do is make sure that the first tour is very successful and if we build this up we could look to host again.

“There is no reason why we can’t host a stage of the Tour de France in the future.”

Cornwall based professional cyclist Chris Opie is backing the bid to get the Tour of Britain and said it would be great to see the Tour de France here in future.

He said Cornwall was a fantastic place to ride and it would be good to get more people doing so.

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