The Tour of Britain will return to Carlisle and Kendal this September, as Cumbria and the Lake District host the second stage of British Cycling’s premier road cycling event on Monday 5 September.
Stage Two will begin in Carlisle city centre, heading through the heart of Cumbria and the Lake District and passing through Penrith, Cockermouth, Keswick and Ambleside, before the finish atop the testing 11% climb of Beast Banks in Kendal.
The proposed 195-kilometre route includes the climbs of Whinlatter Pass above Derwent Water, averaging 4% over its six-kilometre length and the iconic climb of The Struggle, which will be inside the final 30-kilometres of racing, rising from Ambleside to the Kirkstone Pass at an average gradient of 8%.
Cllr David Southward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:
“We’re delighted that the Tour is coming back to Cumbria. It’s one of the country’s premier sporting events and I hope this announcement underlines that Cumbria is very much ‘open for business’ following December’s floods. This year’s stage will doubtless provide an exciting sporting spectacle and showcase the best of Cumbria’s communities and landscape. The economic boost it brings the county is significant, with the 2015 race generating a net economic benefit of £3.4m we hope the 2016 edition will have a similar impact.”
It will be the fourth time that Carlisle has hosted a start of the Tour of Britain, having previously hosted the race in 2005, 2012 and 2013.
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr Colin Glover, said:
“We’re delighted to be welcoming back the Tour of Britain this autumn. Carlisle will once again be showcased to a global audience and we’re thrilled to be part of an exciting event that attracts thousands of spectators. We look forward to providing a warm welcome to the Tour of Britain competitors and supporters.
“Carlisle and other parts of Cumbria were badly affected by the December storms and the Tour of Britain will send a clear message that ‘Cumbria is open for business’ and provide a boost to hard hit businesses and communities across the county.”
The race has twice before finished atop Beast Banks in Kendal, in 2007 and most recently in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek outsprinted Sam Bennett in a memorable finale.
Cllr Peter Thornton, Leader of South Lakeland District Council
“I welcome the announcement that the Tour of Britain will once again return to Cumbria, for what is sure to be a thrilling stage culminating in a finish in the centre of Kendal. At South Lakeland District Council we are thankful to the Tour of Britain for making the decision to return to our region so soon after their previous visit. In 2013, the Cumbria stage was described as one of the best in the Tour’s history, and we intend to be even better this time around. Our region was hard-hit by December’s storms and many residents are still feeling the effects, but the return of the Tour will provided a boost and we are excited to once again showcase this beautiful part of the country.”
Commenting on the Cumbria stage, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said;
“We are delighted to be returning to the heart of Cumbria and the Lake District with the Tour of Britain so we can once again showcase the fantastic scenery and celebrate the local communities we will pass through, particularly as so many were badly affected by the winter floods. The stage will combine previously unvisited roads for the race and new climbs like Whinlatter Pass and the Struggle up to Kirkstone Pass, while we will also be including locations such as Carlisle, Penrith and Cockermouth, which are very familiar from previous editions of the Tour of Britain.
“The finish in Kendal at the top of the Beast Banks climb provided a memorable finish during the 2013 Tour, so we are confident it will again provide a fitting finale to this tough stage.”
The Tour of Britain will begin in Glasgow on Sunday 4 September and finish in the heart of London on Sunday 11 September. Following on from the Cumbrian stage the race will re-start in Congleton, Cheshire East on Tuesday 6 September for a stage to Tatton Park, Knutsford.
Subsequent stages will take the race to Wales and the South West of England, including a summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor and a challenging circuit race in Bristol on the penultimate day.
Jonny Clay, British Cycling director of cycle sport and membership, said:
“We are proud to announce the 2016 route for Britain’s national tour. Every year the Tour of Britain offers a chance for the public to see some of the world’s best road riders racing through their local area. Last year’s race had a bit of everything; fast flat sections, rolling roads and a great hill top finish which led to exciting racing for the competitors and fans alike. .This year’s route has all the same ingredients, so promises to be a great event.”
For the fifth successive year fans can look forward to enjoying daily live coverage of all eight stages on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.
Chain Reaction Cycles continue their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, won in 2015 by Team WIGGIN’s Owain Doull, while UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the daily intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification, which Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling won last September.
ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and sponsors of the King of the Mountains jersey, also won by Williams in 2015.
The 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.