Tour of Britain back in Mansfield and Ashfield for second year

Tour of Britain 2017 stage 4 from Mansfield to Newark-On-Trent. Riders on the start line in Mansfield. Picture: Chris Etchells
Tour of Britain 2017 stage 4 from Mansfield to Newark-On-Trent. Riders on the start line in Mansfield. Picture: Chris Etchells

The Tour of Britain will return to Nottinghamshire this summer – and will visit Mansfield for the second time.

This year, the 2018 Tour stage will start in West Bridgford, pass through central Nottingham before concluding in Mansfield.

It will be the third time in four years the county has held a stage of the international cycling competition, which last year featured Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Fernando Gaviria.

This year it is expected to take place on Saturday, September 8, and will also cover the districts of Newark and Sherwood, Ashfield and Bassetlaw,

Some 210,000 spectators lined the streets in September 2017 as the county hosted an entire stage of the tour for the first time, boosting the local economy by £3.4m.

Brendan Moffett, chief executive of Marketing NG, the organisation that promotes Nottinghamshire externally, said: “It’s great to hear that the Tour of Britain is coming back to Nottinghamshire.

“This year’s route has the potential to attract more visitors and I’m sure we will see a great turnout from residents.

“We’ll be working closely with promotional partners to maximise what the tour has to offer to boost the economic impact.”

Nottingham city centre was last the scene of the Tour in 2015, but missed out last year as 120 riders travelled a 165km route from Mansfield to Newark, via a number of villages and landmarks including Newstead Abbey, Clumber Park and Rufford Abbey.

An estimated one million people watched the Nottinghamshire stage on ITV4 last year, either live or the highlights.

The Tour of Britain is returning to Nottinghamshire in 2018, after the county successfully hosted an entire stage last September. Dan Robinson crunches the numbers to find out what kind of economic impact it had

When the likes of Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria arrived in Nottinghamshire for the Tour of Britain last year, hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets.

The fourth stage of the international cycling event began in Mansfield before passing through Selston, Eastwood, Hucknall, Gedling, Southwell and Newstead Abbey, ending in Newark.

It brought an estimated £3.4m economic boost – against a £260,000 cost for Nottinghamshire County Council as host – through money spent by the 210,000 visitors at hotels, pubs, cafés, shops and transport.

Derek Higton, services director at the county council, oversaw planning for the staging of last year’s event in Nottinghamshire – and will do so again in September 2018.

Speaking to business leaders at an event for networking group Nottingham Partners at Center Parcs, he said: “Events like the Tour of Britain have become a major plank of the visitor events calendar.

“We had the largest number of visitors for a midweek stage that the Tour has ever had and the largest single public event the county has ever seen.

“It was a massive thing for the county – cycling is a massively growing sport for participation and spectators.

“The Tour of Britain is in the second tier of cycling events in the world, just behind the Tour de France, so it’s a major deal in the sporting world.”

A total of 120 riders from 10 countries took part as the county staged a full stage of the Tour for the first time in its history on Wednesday, September 6.

The list of competitors included some of the sport’s rising stars, including Lars Bloom, Lukasz Owsian, Mark McNally and Alexander Kristoff.

At 165km, it was the shortest and flattest of the eight stages – which took in 19 counties altogether – and lasted just under four hours.

Despite the fourth stage being held in midweek, Nottinghamshire had its fair share of spectators, with 210,000 of the 1.2 million total spectators.

Mr Higton says: “Last year, we had Mark Cavendish, one of the world’s most famous cyclists and a real household name, so that’s an indicator of the profile of the tour.

“We were able to give Mansfield the kind of event it’s never had and in places like Southwell, the crowds had to be seen to be believed.”

Tourism bosses often highlight the importance of visitors who stay overnight as their value is about four to five-times as high as the day visitors.

While only eight percent of Tour of Britain race-goers stayed in a hotel, they were worth just over £100, according to county council figures – with the £27.38 brought in by day-only visitors also providing value for the county’s businesses, with many saying they experienced a boom in trade.

Copy thanks to Nottingham Post