For the first time in 24 years, Brighton and Hove will be hosting part of the Friends Life Tour of Britain.
For the first time in 24 years, Brighton and Hove will be hosting a part of the flagship Friends Life Tour of Britain, a key event in our national sporting calendar and the country's biggest professional cycle race.
The penultimate day of racing sees the tour leaving Camberley, Surrey, at 10am on September 13, taking in a 140-mile journey through Haywards Heath, Eastbourne, and over Ditchling Beacon. After crossing Sussex, the tour enters the city mid-afternoon, where it finishes for the day on the seafront on Madeira Drive.
The Tour of Britain is also the country's biggest free-to-spectate sporting event, attracting the biggest live attendance of any sporting event in the United Kingdom. Residents and visitors will be able to watch for free all along the route. As with many other events that we have hosted, many thousands will be watching the event live on TV, which will be a great advert for our city.
It is estimated that the economic benefit of hosting the race last year for towns and cities across the UK was an estimated £3 million per stage. We can expect to see similar benefits this year in Brighton and Hove from hotel, restaurant, and shop-takings.
It is great to see the nation’s greatest cycling race visit our city, which has witnessed an explosion of cycling in recent years. We were recently found to have the UK’s highest growth in commuter cycling outside of London and have been given funding and awards for our work to make the Brighton and Hove cycle-safe.
We hope the Tour of Britain will inspire even more people to take up cycling for fitness, recreation and transport. And we wish the riders the best of luck, and look forward to welcoming them and spectators to our cycle-friendly city.