2005 Bigger? Better? – (c) Chris Keller-Jackson
Tour of Britain has to be longer in 2005 and reports state that next year’s race could be an eight or nine day event. Cycling fans north of the border will get a chance to see it as they intend to visit Scotland and possibly Ireland during next year’s race.
Although only a ‘small’ tour at the moment the organisers want to get ProTour status from the UCI – which would mean bigger teams sending squads of riders. Considering the time allowed to get this year’s race on the road they did pretty well with T-Mobile and the Posties sending teams. So it looks as if things can only get better.
Talking on BikeBiz.co.uk Michael Heal, communications director of the Tour of Britain, said it was a “top priority” for Scotland to be included in next year’s event. “There’s a willingness and desire to extend the Tour into Scotland, we couldn’t include it this year because there was already a Tour of Scotland” added Heal. (The Scottish tour was scheduled for 25-29th August but fell through.)“Before it was cancelled we had already decided there would not be enough backers for two stage races in Scotland so reluctantly had no Scottish stage,” said Heal.
No date has yet been set for next year’s Tour of Britain, although Heal said it would likely be some time after the Tour de France. With no Olympics next year, the Tour of Britain could be held in August and as such should be a bigger hit with the TV (let’s hope so anyway).