The route that Stage Four of this year’s Tour of Britain will take through Worcestershire was revealed at a reception held at The Hive, Worcester on 19 June.
Timed to coincide with National Bike Week, Tour organisers confirmed that riders from 18 teams will start the gruelling 182.5 kilometre stage from the Hive at 10.30am on Wednesday 10 September. From there, the teams will travel down The Butts, City Walls Road, Deansway and New Road before leaving the city via St John’s.
Travelling through Rushwick, the riders will then head to Great Malvern, tackling the climb of Wyche Cutting before descending via Little Malvern and heading east to Upton upon Severn.
Heading through Pershore, the stage will then join the A44 east towards Twyford, turning south on the B4624 into Evesham and then onto Broadway, where The Tour of Britain will race through the High Street before climbing towards Snowshill and disappearing over the border to Gloucestershire and its final destination of Bristol.
Worcestershire LEP is responsible for bringing the Tour to Worcestershire – its first return to the county since 2008. Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair at Worcestershire LEP says: “The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest free to attend live sporting event. It attracts wide-spread media attention and as such is the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of Worcestershire as a tourist destination.
“Research has shown that hosting a Stage Start will bring at least a seven fold return on investment to Worcestershire in terms of economic impact of the Race. With this in mind, we are delighted to be able to bring the Race back to the county and are grateful for the support of the County Council, Worcester City Council, Malvern Hills District Council and Wychavon District Council who have also been instrumental in enabling us to host the Stage.”
The Launch was attended by local professional riders Sam Williams (NFTO Pro Cycling) and Dominic Jelfs (Madison Genesis). Sam Williams said:“The Worcestershire stage route looks really good and I’m looking forward to getting out there and riding it myself to find out all the challenges. The route uses lots of roads and climbs that local cyclists will know well and takes in a lot of towns, which we know will be full of fans.
“Being a Hereford based team I’m sure we can expect lots of additional support on what will be almost our home stage of The Tour.”
Mark Leyland, Technical Manager at Sweetspot (The Tour of Britain organisers), added: “We are delighted to return to Worcestershire for the first time in six years and have selected a route that will showcase Worcester, as well as the county’s towns and districts.
“As in previous years the early climb of the Malvern Hills will attract a lot of spectators, as will the city centre start, which will enable fans to see the world’s top teams and riders preparing for the stage.”
Worcester has twice before hosted the modern Tour of Britain, in 2007 and 2008, when stages of the race started from the city before heading to Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent respectively.
Further details about the Tour of Britain can be found at www.thetour.co.uk. The site will include a dedicated Worcestershire Stage page which will be regularly updated as further details are unveiled.