Organisers are hailing the inaugural Tour Series as a huge success. They say the urban road races attracted a total of 100,000 spectators and boosted cycling in the towns and cities where they were held.
“City centre racing has made a spectacular return to the UK,” said John Herety, team manager for Rapha-Condor. "The success of this year’s Tour Series events has given riders and teams the ideal platform to show off themselves and their sponsors on national TV. The new team format had both cyclists and non-cyclists hooked to the very last round."
The 10 races were televised in hour-long shows on ITV4. Hugh Roberts, chief executive officer of SweetSpot Group, co-organisers of the Tour Series with Cyclevox, said: “Thanks to the event being broadcast on TV, members of the public who were not able to attend any of the events in person were able to enjoy a full hour’s worth of racing the following evening. In addition, our partner towns and cities were able to show viewers and spectators what they had to offer, resulting in a boost in their tourism offerings.”
Here are some examples of how venues have benefited:
- Chester: Race attracted 12,000 spectators who boosted the city's economy by £500,000.
- Exeter: Bike shops reported having some of their busiest ever days following the Tour Series race. Cycling Demonstration Town project team have seen unprecedented interest in cycling.
- Peterborough: 8,500 extra people in the city centre spending money, and schools ran activities on the day of the Tour Series to get children interested in cycling.
The Tour Series started on 21 May in Milton Keynes and ended in Southend on Sea on 25 June. Ten teams of five professional cyclists competed to place their top three riders in the highest positions at the end of a period of intense, fast-paced racing. The series title went to Team Halfords BikeHut, with Candi TV the close runner-up.
Further info on the Tour Series can be found at www.tourseries.co.uk.