Cornwall will host the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the first time in September 2020, with the Grand Depart of next year’s race seeing riders travel 170 kilometres through the Cornish countryside, starting at Penzance and ending in Bodmin.
The stage’s provisional route (subject to final approval) will also visit St Just, St Ives, Hayle, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Newquay, St Austell and the Eden Project. An agreement to hold the race was confirmed at a special signing ceremony with the Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot and Cornwall Council at Chy Trevail in Bodmin on March 22.
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “We are today delighted to be formally agreeing the Grand Depart of the 2020 Tour of Britain in Cornwall and look forward to bringing the race to the county for the very first time in September next year.
“A lot of hard work over a sustained period has gone into today’s news, which we know will excite sports fans in Cornwall and across Britain. Working with Cornwall Council, British Cycling, the UCI and partners we look forward to making Cornwall the destination to be next September to see the world’s best.”
Jonathan Rigby, commercial director from British Cycling, added: “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain goes from strength to strength each year and has captured the hearts of minds of the nation to become a staple of the British sporting calendar. All eyes will firmly be on Cornwall next September as the county welcomes the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the first time in its history.”
Independent economic reports estimate that the race will generate more than £3 million of extra spending within Cornwall over the stage and it is hoped that around 180,000 people will line the route to watch, a total of 120 riders will take part in the Tour of Britain.
Councillor Adam Paynter, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Cornwall, not just for cycling fans, but for the wider community as well. It will bring visitors into the Duchy, not only along the cycle route, but across the rest of the Duchy and it will also help to enhance our profile both at home and abroad.
“We will also work to ensure we create a long-lasting legacy from the event by raising the profile of cycling in Cornwall and motivating more people to get on two wheels and lead healthier, more active lives.”
Details of the route for the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain in September will be announced in the late spring at the event’s national launch. Further details of the Cornish stage of the 2020 race will be announced in the autumn.