Derby to bid for leading road cycle races

Published: 27 July 2022

Men riding bikes in a cycle race

Elite cyclists could soon be in action on the streets of Derby

Elite cyclists could soon be in action on the city streets as Derby bids to host some of the UK’s leading road cycle races, including the prestigious Tour Series, Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour.

After submitting an expression of interest, Derby City Council has now been invited to bid to become a host city for the Cycle Race Tour Series, a leading event on the UK’s cycling calendar, from 2023 to 2025. The city has also been invited to bid to host the Women’s Tour in 2023 and the Tour of Britain in 2024.

Cycling is one of Derby’s four core sports. As well as inspiring spectators to become more involved in cycling, hosting these world-class events can expect to generate hundreds of thousands of pounds, or millions for the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain, for the local economy.

Combining thrilling men’s and women’s road racing, the Cycle Race Tour Series attracts the best British riders and elite cyclists from other countries. Previous competitors include Dame Laura Kenny, Tom Pidcock, Katie Archibald, Ed Clancy and Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most decorated Paralympian.

The event usually attracts around 10,000 spectators to its host cities, typically generating £400,000 for the local economy through additional spending in hotels, pubs and cafes.

For the Women’s Tour, the economic impact is around £2 million for every event day, raising national profile with a media value of £1 million. These figures are even higher for the Tour of Britain, which brings £4 million into the local economy for every event day, with a media value of £2 million.

Being a host city would bring leading family-friendly sporting events to the streets of Derby, which would be free to attend. With 64% of spectators saying they’re inspired to cycle more after watching the Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour, the races would also help to develop Derby’s wider cycling offer.

Derby Arena is one of only five velodromes in the UK and has been hosting the Great British Cycling Team since January as they prepare for events including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The iconic venue is also being developed as a Cycle Hub, a one-stop shop for all things cycling, from outdoor led rides to family biking, track cycling for beginners, and sessions on bike mechanics.

Councillors will be asked to set the wheels in motion by approving bids to host the Cycle Race Tour Series, Women’s Tour, and Tour of Britain, at its Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 3 August.

Councillor Jerry Pearce, Cabinet Member for Streetpride, Leisure and Public Spaces, said:

Derby is a city where anyone can get involved with cycling, whether they’re a beginner or an elite cyclist.

Derby Arena and the Cycle Hub are great foundations for getting the community involved. By bidding for these events we would be moving up a gear. The advantages of being a host city are tremendous, from raising our city’s profile and boosting our local economy to inspiring the next generation of cyclists.

Tom Stanton, Head of Performance Pathways for the Great British Cycling Team, said: 

Having Derby Arena available to us while the National Cycling Centre in Manchester is going through an uplift, has meant that our athletes have been able to continue to train in a high-quality facility, alongside their coaches and support staff. This has been invaluable to our teams’ progress and preparation as they head into a busy summer of major sporting events. 

Derby continues to champion cycling for all ages and abilities and being a host city for these leading events would only be a positive addition to the cycling and wider communities.

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