Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire secure 2-year deal to bring Tour of Britain to the region
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have agreed a deal to host the final stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race in 2020 and the Grand Depart in 2021.
The Tour of Britain will build on the success of the Tour Series cycle races which took place in Aberdeen City over the past three years, attracting tens of thousands of spectators and bringing economic benefits to the region.
The Councils worked in partnership with EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, to secure the event, with the organisation set to continue its long-term support of the Tour in 2020 and 2021.
The Tour is the UK’s biggest and most prestigious cycle race attracting the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions, and Tour de France winners, to compete over eight days each September. It is a professional men’s cycle race consisting of eight stages of racing across the UK, with different routes showcasing the best of British towns, cities and countryside.
2018 was the second year that full live coverage and highlights were shown on ITV4, attracting an audience of around 3.2 million.
The details of the 2020 route in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be confirmed in due course with event organisers SweetSpot, but is likely to be around 200kms in length, taking in large parts of Aberdeenshire, before finishing in the City Centre.
Cllr Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “Securing the Tour of Britain is a sign of our ambition and determination as a Council to bring the biggest, best and most vibrant events to Aberdeen and the north-east. I have no doubt it will be a huge attraction to local audiences as well as bringing in visitors from throughout Britain and across the world.
“Through our Aberdeen 365 events strategy we have established a world class programme and this represents another fantastic addition to a calendar that is not only of benefit to local residents culturally but also to our economy by driving footfall and visitor spend. We look forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain and showcasing Aberdeen.”
Cllr Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning landscapes of our region to a global audience, attract spectators both locally and from afar to enjoy world-class cycling and to support our economy through hotel stays, or spending money in local shops and businesses.
“I also hope that the residents and business community of the North East get involved, either as spectators, through sponsorship or by getting involved in one of the many supporting events that we expect to take place during the event. This will be a truly celebratory event that will put the region firmly on the map as a destination for world class sporting events, tourism and business.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director said: “Following the success of the Tour Series’ visits there since 2017, we’re delighted that the final stage of next year's Tour of Britain will be heading to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
“With its mix of stunning landscapes, historic architecture, passionate fans and gruelling terrain it promises to be a spectacular finale to the UK’s biggest bike race.
“It’s going to be a historic stage: the modern edition of the Tour has never been so far north before, so I’d like to thank everybody who has made it possible. Roll on September!”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to have worked in partnership with Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire Councils and SweetSpot to bring the Tour of Britain to the region over the next two years. Securing the event was part of a longer-term strategy to bring more cycling events to the Granite City, starting with the Tour Series.
“Events play a key role in our visitor economy and the addition of the Tour comes at an exciting time for the city and the region, which has recently seen the reopening of the Aberdeen Art Gallery along with the opening of the brand-new events venue, P&J Live. These world-class facilities together with this world-class event ensures Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire continues to move in its new direction of becoming a credible player on Scotland’s tourism stage.”
Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling said: “At Scottish Cycling we are thrilled to be welcoming the Tour of Britain to Aberdeen for the 2020 and 2021 editions of the race. We know that major events are key in inspiring more people to ride bikes in Scotland, therefore securing and staging elite racing in the north of Scotland is fundamental to achieving our ambition of developing a nation of cyclists. They are also a great way of bringing cycling clubs, schools and communities together, and inspiring the next generation of young riders!”
Julie Harrington, CEO of British Cycling, said: “On behalf of British Cycling, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire on being selected as the host destination for the finish of the Tour of Britain.
“Over recent years the Tour has grown almost beyond recognition, benefiting from the huge surge in the popularity of cycling, and is now firmly recognised as a cornerstone of the British sporting calendar. Aberdeen has done a wonderful job in staging rounds of the Tour Series in the past few years, and will once again provide a fitting backdrop as the Tour of Britain concludes there next year.”
The stage route, which will be revealed next year, will maximise the benefit for tourism, for local communities and for young people to become involved, promoting the region to a global TV audience and to encourage cycling to improve health and wellbeing.
Supporting events and activities will also be planned to ensure as many people get involved in the event as possible. More information on community activation can be found at www.tourofbritain.co.uk/community/get-on-board/
Opportunities are available for businesses to become involved, with a range of sponsorship options.
The Tour of Britain 2020 takes place from 6th – 13th September, beginning in Penzance and ending in Aberdeen.
Information about the event is available at www.tourofbritainABDN.com