Riders to return as town eyes longer-term deal

By Ian Dipple Friday 10 January 2014 Updated: 10/01 10:06

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Buy photos » The mens race gets under way. Photo by Marcus Mingins 2313018MMR13

REDDITCH will once again play host to some of Britain and the world’s leading racing cyclists as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series returns to town for what could be the final time.

The borough will stage round seven of the series on Tuesday, June 3, just ten days before the climax of the competition.

It is the third year running the race has taken place in Redditch as part of Worcestershire County Council’s £2.8million Choose How You Move project, designed to encourage residents to travel more sustainably.

The event pits professional cycling teams against each other in over an hour of action around a specially designed town centre circuit.

But with funding coming to an end this year, there is no guarantee the race will return in future years despite organisers expressing their desire to lock-in a long-term deal.

County council leader Adrian Hardman said they were investigating all potential funding sources to continue to deliver the Tour Series event after 2014.

“Worcestershire County Council are keen to retain ownership of the Tour Series and recognise the value of the event in line with the council’s Corporate Plan and Open for Business objectives.”

The news comes as it was revealed last year’s event was attended by more than 12,000 people, up 20 per cent on 2012. It also brought some £191,471 into the Redditch economy. The figure does not include the benefits to the borough from television exposure from coverage of the race on ITV4.

More than half of those that attended came from outside the borough, with 88 per cent of visitors saying they enjoyed the event with 61 per cent adding they were inspired to cycle more regularly as a result.

Last year’s event was expanded to include a series of races before the main attraction involving town centre businesses and members of Redditch Road and Path Cycling Club along with a round of the women’s elite series competition.

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