The Tour of Britain ’05 was officially unveiled at London’s City Hall this morning. In a swanky penthouse presentation suite, right next door to Ken Livingstone’s office, a packed audience was hosted by Tony Doyle and Mick Bennett, two of the prime movers and shakers in the ToB organisation.
A star studded audience it was too, with Chris Newton and Magnus Backstedt in the front row. Magnus looking surprisingly fresh after finish 4th in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. The event is being backed in London by Transport for London (TfL), The London Development Agency (LDA), Visit London and The Mayor himself.
Although ‘otherwise engaged’ Ken Livingstone says in the press release that he see the ToB as a great way to inspire the public and is totally behind the event saying that
“The Tour of Britain will be a fantastic spectacle and a fun day out. It will help highlight the health benefits and enjoyment that cycling can offer Londoners.”
Mick Bennett acknowledged the fact that the ’04 race wasn’t exactly ‘nationwide’ so for 2005 they have added a tough 114mile stage from Glasgow to Castle Douglas. He also highlighted the London crit as being a day out for everybody with Go-Ride events, the Bob Chicken Grand Prix (for 200-odd top amateurs) and a Women’s Elite category race. Looks set to be a great day out, whichever stage you can get to.
The Saturday stage in Birmingham should be a spectacle as shoppers will mix with spectators and get a free international event into the bargain! A perfect day out for all the family.
The stages in full:
Tuesday 30th August – Stage 1 – Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Wednesday 31st August – Stage 2 – Carlisle to Blackpool
Thursday 1st September – Stage 3 – Leeds to Sheffield
Friday 2nd September – Stage 4 – Buxton to Nottingham
Saturday 3rd September – Stage 5 – Birmingham City centre criterium
Sunday 4th September – Stage 6 – Westminster City centre criterium
A full map will follow very soon.