The Lincolnshire Wolds will be the focus for major elite road cycle racing in April 2017, attracting the biggest teams and names in British cycling.
British Cycling, East Lindsey District Council and Magna Vitae are working together with EventDS Ltd to deliver the ‘Tour of the Wolds’ on April 9, which will include a 62 mile professional women’s race and a 102 mile professional men’s race.
The Tour of the Wolds will see professional cyclists tackling a challenging route that goes from Louth, over the Wolds to Caistor and back, through villages including South Elkington, Binbrook and Tealby.
The Wolds is just one of four locations in the UK to host a HSBC UK Spring Cup Series event this year, and will feature on Eurosport with highlights on ITV4.
On Saturday, April 8, cycling enthusiasts from the local area and further afield will be able to take part in a non-competitive ‘Sportive’ which will be based around the London Road Pavilion, Louth, looping into the Wolds. There will be a choice of three distances: 33km, 50km, and 100km.
Former Team Sky rider and four-times winner of the Lincoln Grand Prix, Russell Downing from JLT Condor, said: “I am really looking forward to riding the Tour of the Wolds. I’ve trained on these roads numerous times over the years with my partner who is originally from Grimsby.
“These roads are never easy and the circuit certainly looks challenging. It will be a ‘racers race’ and one I will relish!”
East Lindsey District Council recently launched the ‘Lincolnshire Wolds Destination Plan’ – one element of which was attracting events to raise the profile of the area.
The District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Rural Economy and Market Towns, Councillor Adam Grist, said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to work with partners to secure a major event for the Wolds, which we expect to attract a significant number of both competitors and spectators.
“The Wolds has already established itself as a great location for cycling with the British Cycling National Road Championships taking place in 2015, which included Dame Sarah Storey, Laura Trott and Peter Kennaugh, and we hope to build on this in the future.
“As well as the economic benefit the two days of cycling will bring to the area, we hope that it will also inspire many people to take up cycling.”
Managing Director for Magna Vitae, Mark Humphreys, said: “Securing this event is a real coup for the area, for Magna Vitae and for our partners. This is a fantastic new event to support the recently launched Lincolnshire Wolds Destination Plan.
“We are delighted that the Tour of the Wolds has been confirmed as part of British Cycling’s 2017 events calendar.”
Gary Dennis, Chair of Louth Independent Traders, added: “We are extremely supportive of this event and we feel it will be great for the town.
“We will be running stalls, activities and areas of interest promoting health, sports and fitness alongside the event in the Market Place on Sunday, April 9”.
• For further information on all the events that weekend, including routes, visit www.tourofthewolds.co.uk