Building on the success of hosting a stage of last September’s Friends Life Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race, Worcester will host the 2015 Friends Life Tour Ride, a mass participation cycle event for amateur cyclists.
Taking place on Sunday 4th October, three route options for the Ride will be available, headlined by a 100-mile route, which will showcase some of the most attractive, and hardest, roads in Worcestershire. Entrants can also choose 75 and 35-mile options to suit their ability.
Starting from outside the University of Worcester Arena, all three routes will finish on Worcester Racecourse allowing for a closed-road finale to the Friends Life Tour Ride, just a short hop by bridge across the River Severn, giving participants separate Start and Finish locations accessed from the same car parking.
The Friends Life Tour Ride, which was launched in 2009, is the official sportive of the Friends Life Tour of Britain and Friends Life Women’s Tour races, giving amateur cyclists the chance to have the professional experience and enjoy a full supported ride with all route options incorporating elements of the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain.
The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is hosting the Friends Life Tour Ride, working alongside partner organisations, and recognises the role that sport has in boosting the local economy as the county celebrates a number of high profile sporting events during 2015.
Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am pleased to announce that this prestigious cycle ride will take place in the county in October this year and would encourage people to start training. Businesses may wish to enter teams and this is a great opportunity for both individuals and teams to raise funds for their chosen charities.
“We recognise the huge importance that high profile sporting events provide to local companies. For example, the Tour of Britain boosted the local economy by almost £1m last year and I would urge businesses to consider the many commercial opportunities that this event will provide.”
“This is an exciting addition to Worcestershire’s high profile sporting programme of events taking place this year, which will help to put Worcestershire firmly on the sporting map of Britain. Another highlight will be the prestigious European Wheelchair Basketball Championships which the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is supporting alongside Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council.”
Taking place annually since 2009, last year saw the Friends Life Tour Ride take place in Stoke-on-Trent and the Peak District, with approaching 1,000 riders entering and riding alongside Mark Cavendish, for whom it was his official sportive in 2014.
In addition to having hosted the Friends Life Tour of Britain on three occasions since 2007, most notably in 2014 when World Champion elect Michal Kwiatkowski won Stage Four from Worcester to Bristol, Worcestershire is also a regular host of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Redditch, which has taken place annually since 2012 with both elite men and women’s races.
Entries for the 2015 Friends Life Tour Ride will open in the final week of February alongside a revamped event website, together with details of all three routes.
Pictured: Tour of Britain 2014, Worcestershire Stage.