The world’s top riders will return to the city for the first time since 2014 to take on a challenging double-stage, contesting an individual time trial against the clock in the morning before a circuit race on a 15.3-kilometre circuit in the afternoon, giving cycling fans in Bristol a spectacular double treat.
The stage is proposed to use the highly popular finish on the Bristol Downs as hosted a stage finish of the 2014 Tour of Britain, a challenging circuit including the SKODA King of the Mountains climb of Bridge Valley Road that will feature in both the time trial and road race.
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol said: “I began discussions with the organisers to make sure the Tour of Britain came to Bristol over three years ago, before I was elected as Mayor, so I’m particularly excited that this year we shall be staging the penultimate stage for the race and be the sole venue for the day. The Tour’s route will showcase the glories of Bristol and demonstrate why we have an increasing reputation as a ‘cycling city’
“I am proud of the fact that we are a city of cyclists of all types and ages and that I have played my small part in this for some 40-years. Since being the UK’s first Cycling City, bikes have been on the rise here. We have seen a massive increase in the amount of people cycling for work and pleasure, putting us way ahead of the pack of major cities in the UK. With another exciting program of events this summer I am confident that more Bristolians will discover the joy of cycling and interest will only continue to grow.
“I hope we can all share a sense of pride that the city is now getting a chance to play such an important part in this major national sporting event which reinforces our credentials as a city of sport.”
Colin Sexstone, chair of the Bristol Partnership for Sport and Active Recreation said, “Bristol is the perfect backdrop for the Tour of Britain, and, speaking on behalf of the newly-formed Bristol Partnership for Sport and Active Recreation, we are thrilled that this year’s race will take in the sights, landmarks and contours of our city. There will quite literally be lots of ups-and-downs, and I am sure that Bristol will deliver the most thrilling and high-octane stage of this year’s Tour of Britain.
“Bristol is a natural home for cycling in the UK. It’s already the city’s most popular participation sporting activity, helping 50,000 Bristolians and 13% of us to be more active. Our aim as a partnership is to make Bristol an even more active and healthier city, and we expect events like the Tour of Britain to encourage many more to get on their bikes!”
Stage 7a will see riders tackle one-lap of the proposed circuit against the clock, from the Start/Finish line on the Bristol Downs, including crossing the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, passing the Ashton Court Estate and racing back through Bristol’s Harbourside district before the climb of Bridge Valley Road back to the finish on the Downs.
The second part of the racing in Stage 7b will be a five-lap circuit race, using the same circuit as proposed for the time trial and featuring multiple ascents of the 600-metre, 9% climb of Bridge Valley Road.
Further details about Stage Seven, including timings and other events will be announced the coming weeks by Bristol City Council and event organisers SweetSpot.
Commenting on the Bristol stage, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said;
“We are thrilled to be working with the Mayor of Bristol and Bristol City Council and to be proposing to use such an amazing circuit past some of the cities most iconic sites. The highly popular stage finish in 2014 with the challenging finale of Bridge Valley Road whetted our appetite to create what will be a very challenging stage with both a time trial and road race, for what will in effect be a mini-World Championships.
“We are sure with this announcement that cycling fans will be bookmarking Saturday 10 September as a date to head to Bristol for the chance to see the world’s top riders racing over multiple laps around the city.”
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.”
The Tour of Britain will begin in Glasgow on Sunday 4 September and finish in the heart of London on Sunday 11 September, including stages in the Lake District, Wales and Bath and a summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor, Devon.
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.
If you have any concerns or questions over the Tour of Britain route please contact firstname.lastname@example.org