The 2021 Tour Series calendar revealing three new host venues for this August’s events has today been announced.
Guisborough, Sunderland and Castle Douglas will each host men’s and women’s races in a compact week-long Tour Series, with events taking place on Sunday 8, Tuesday 10, and Thursday 12 August, subject to final permissions. Highlights of all three rounds will again be broadcast on ITV4.
This year will be the first time that the Tour Series has taken place outside of its traditional May date, with organisers SweetSpot working in collaboration with British Cycling, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Sunderland City Council and Dumfries & Galloway Council to put the events on in a new August calendar slot for 2021.
Commenting on the announcement Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Tour Series organisers SweetSpot, said; “We are delighted to be able to announce the return of the Tour Series and would like to both welcome Guisborough, Sunderland and Castle Douglas to the series, and thank the respective councils for their tremendous support already in committing to working with us in order to try and make these events possible. We are sure that their commitment will be rewarded with three fantastic Tour Series events.”
Mick Bennett, Tour Series Race Director, added; “We know the importance of the Tour Series to teams and riders, and their sponsors, but also to fans in the UK so it was always a key aim for SweetSpot in 2021 to make sure that the Tour Series returned. Hopefully this news can contribute an increase in confidence for domestic racing, not just for the rest of the year but going into 2022 as well.”
Danielle Every, British Cycling’s Cycling Delivery Director, said: “Known for its action-packed racing, top quality fields and iconic backdrops, the Tour Series has been a real calendar highlight since its debut series in 2009. We’re delighted that the series will be returning this August after the challenges of the past year, providing vital racing opportunities for our riders and teams and giving fans of our sport the opportunity to watch many of the country’s best riders up close and personal in their towns.”
The Tour Series will open with a first-ever Yorkshire round, taking place in the market town of Guisborough, in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland, on Sunday 8 August, just over 800 days on from the conclusion of the 2019 series.
Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Mary Lanigan, said: “We are so excited – and privileged – to be welcoming Britain’s cycling elite back to our borough. Lockdown saw many people in the area take up the sport as their one form of exercise a day, and now they have the very unique opportunity to watch the professionals take on their own streets. It will be such a spectacle for everyone who comes along.”
“The televised event will be a real boost for the local economy too, giving Guisborough the chance to showcase all it has to offer from its idyllic position at the foot of the North Yorkshire Moors.”
Councillor Louise Westbury, with responsibility for Events and Culture, added: “After the disappointing postponement of a number of sporting events over the last year, we are incredibly pleased that the Tour Series can go ahead, even if it means acting within any possible restrictions extending beyond July 19th. It will be an unforgettable day, which has been estimated to bring a possible £400,000 to Guisborough and the surrounding area, which is just fantastic.”
Round Two will see a first visit to Sunderland on Tuesday 10 August for a round taking place in the city centre.
Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, Councillor Linda Williams said: “We have a strong track record for successfully hosting and supporting major events here in Sunderland and we look forward to the visit of the tour series.
“This is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to watch a major global sporting event that is broadcast across the world. We’re all very pleased that we have this opportunity to host and welcome the tour to Sunderland.”
The final event for 2021 will take place in Castle Douglas on Thursday 12 August as a part of the CD Bike and Food Festival. While it will be the first visit for the Tour Series to Castle Douglas, the Tour of Britain has finished in the town on three occasions, most recently in 2016 when German rider André Greipel took victory.
Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion, said, “The Tour Series is a wonderful cycling series to bring to Castle Douglas and Dumfries and Galloway. It will be eagerly anticipated and an opportunity for sports fans to enjoy a fabulous live event this summer.
“In the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns, Dumfries and Galloway has become a pre-eminent cycling and staycation destination, and the Tour Series will help us profile our beautiful scenery and attractions to an appreciative audience.”
Castle Douglas becomes the fifth Scottish venue to have hosted a round of the Tour Series and ensures that there has been an event in Scotland in every edition since 2012. It will also become the 40th venue to host a round of the series proper, and the 110th Tour Series event held to date.
All three Tour Series events are pending COVID-19 restrictions in England and Scotland allowing for outdoor events with unticketed, standing spectators being permitted to take place by the relevant public health organisations.
Launched in 2009, the Tour Series remains the UK’s leading televised cycle race series. Owing to the postponement of last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019 men’s and women’s title winners Canyon dhb SunGod and CAMS-Basso remain the series’ reigning champions.