Tour of Britain to return to Fylde

Columbia HTC rider Edvald Boasson Hagen from Norway wins during stage Four of the Tour of Britain in 2009
Columbia HTC rider Edvald Boasson Hagen from Norway wins during stage Four of the Tour of Britain in 2009
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A HUGE sporting event is returning to the Fylde coast and this time the organisers are hoping for better weather.

Last year’s Tour of Britain stage in Blackpool was a wash out as strong winds and heavy rain battered the course.

Hundreds of cycling enthusiasts were left disappointed with the decision, but interest is gathering again as the biggest cycling event in the country gears up for a return.

Natalie Wyatt, head of Visit Blackpool, said: “We have a history of hosting this event and we are delighted it’s back.

“Everyone is crossing their fingers the sun comes out and I hope it will bring in the crowds again.

“There’s not much we can do about the weather, and sadly this is an event which is subject to the elements.

“With it being a sporting event it’s more of a niche event for cycling enthusiasts, but this is up there on the major events programme.”

The tour begins in Ipswich on September 9 and goes across the country before setting off from Carlisle and heading for Blackpool on Wednesday, September 12.

Some of the best cyclists in the world will feature in the race, but it is not yet known if the Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish – who met fans in Blackpool last year despite the wash out – will take part.

Peter Hodges, spokesman for Tour of Britain, said: “We have been to Blackpool many times over the past few years and last year was really disappointing, particularly as we were going to finish underneath Blackpool Tower.

“We are looking forward to having the finish in a unique and very famous setting which is equal to the Champs Elysees and the Tour de France.

“We want everyone to cross their fingers for good weather and come out and support us on the day.”

Council chiefs are glad to see the race return to Blackpool after last year’s wash out

Coun Graham Cain, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture, said: “It’s rare that the Tour gets cancelled due to bad weather so we were very unlucky last year.

“The Tour Of Britain always attracts a lot spectators to Blackpool and I’m sure this year will be more popular than ever.

“Following on from the Olympics in the summer hopefully we will have some gold winning medallists from Great Britain competing on the Promenade.”