One of Cheshire East’s and Britain’s most promising young cyclists Monica Dew from Poynton, helped to launch the Borough’s build up to the Tour of Britain spectacular, a stage of which will take place in Cheshire East.
Monica, 18, a Year 13 student at Poynton High School, helped launch the Stage 3 campaign at Tatton Park on Friday (May 6) together with the new Leader of Cheshire East Council Rachel Bailey and former cycling professional David Millar, the well-known broadcast commentator on the sport and former Tour de France legend.
A track and road racing cyclist, Monica hopes to become a professional rider soon and has signed up to British Cycling’s scholarship programme to develop her talent and potential.
The launch event brought together sponsors and potential sponsors who stand to benefit from the enormous broadcasting and spectator interest the event will generate.
The popularity of road cycle racing, including the Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire together with the recent Olympics and Commonwealth Games successes of British riders, has multiplied in recent years.
The Stage 3 leg of the Tour will take place in the Borough on September 6, when competitors will race from Congleton to Tatton Park, Knutsford, taking in several local towns and villages plus the steep climb up the A537 Cat and Fiddle road climb.
With much of the stage contained within the Borough of Cheshire East, spectators will have the opportunity to see the riders at various points on the route, while at Tatton Park the riders will pass through twice on their way to the finishing line.
Guests at Friday’s event were told of the far wider opportunities arising from the spectacle, which is predicted to attract 8.2 million television viewers with a potential worldwide audience of 116.5 million.
Coverage will be on BBC Radio 5 Live, ITV4 and Eurosport, while local BBC and commercial radio stations are likely to cover the event.
Tour of Britain organisers say that past events have seen up to 154,000 spectators per stage and an economic impact of £4.1m per stage.
Cheshire East Council’s new Leader Rachel Bailey said: “Not only will this be a spectacular event to watch it will also showcase the Borough of Cheshire East to a huge worldwide audience.
“I urge our local businesses to get behind this, support it and help to make the whole Borough proud to be hosting the Tour of Britain.”
The Tour of Britain is billed as the biggest free-to-attend sporting attraction with 20 teams of riders from 10 countries.
David Millar, the event ambassador for Cheshire East and former wearer of the coveted Tour de France yellow jersey, said: “Road cycling is still quite a new sport for the British public.
“It is not just about watching the riders go past, it is about making a day of it and savouring the atmosphere.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, two of Britain’s top Olympic competitors, have taken part in the past and the race, which begins in Scotland and finishes in London, is said to inspire nearly 70 per cent of spectators to take up cycling or cycle more.
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