Thousands of cyclists are set to descend on Peterborough’s roads this summer in a spectacular first for the UK.
Former world champion and Belgian cycling legend Erwin Vervecken joined cycling journalists and ambassadors to ride on the route of the Tour of Cambridgeshire and launch the event – the first UCI World Cycling Tour to be held in the UK – and it’s all happening right here!
The cycling star made the trip to Peterborough to check out the course and officially launch the Tour of Cambridgeshire which will take place on June 6 and 7.
He set off from the event headquarters at Peterborough Arena and took a detour to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice – the event’s chosen charity partner – in Longthorpe.
“I’m really excited about the Tour of Cambridgeshire as the time trial on 6th June will be the first UCI World Cycling Tour event to be held in the UK,” said Erwin. “Having ridden the circuit for the 28km closed road time trial, I can safely say the wind and terrain are going to make for a tougher than expected course.
“The 132km mass participation gran fondo event the following day will see thousands of cyclists take to the closed roads in the area promising a spectacular event, great for cycling in the region and the UK.”
The time trial will see 700 riders set off individually to complete the 28km course as fast as they can in a bid to qualify for the amateur world championships in Denmark in September. Sunday, June 7 sees The UK’s first truly authentic continental style closed road gran fondo mass participation event – like the London Marathon that is a race at the front and a more leisurely ride for the rest of the field. The well established format is already very successful in mainland Europe.
One of the event ambassadors is GB international rider Hannah Payton who is impressed with the organisers’ stance on equal prize money for male and female racers.
“The Tour of Cambridgeshire is one of very few events where race distance and prize money is equal for both male and female riders. The number of female entrants is already well above average for UK events and hopefully even more will join in to race or simply enjoy the riding on the closed roads.”
Tom Caldwell, from event organisers Vericool Sports Management, said: “The response to the UK’s first ever closed road gran fondo and UWCT time trial event has been tremendous. We were overwhelmed at the time trial selling out all 700 places in less than six days and over 4,000 places have already signed up for the closed road gran fondo with capacity for up to 10,000 riders available.”
Peterborough’s Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall Hospice was unveiled as the event’s charity partner with riders being encouraged to raise money through sponsorship for the hospice’s £6 million appeal. All the money raised will help fund the building of a new in patient unit providing incredible care for patients at the end of their life – and their families.
Hospice director Jane Petit said: “We are very proud to have been chosen as the charity partner for such an exciting event. The Tour of Cambridgeshire is taking place in the final month of our appeal so is the perfect opportunity for cyclists to get involved and make a difference to hospice care in the region.”
For more details and to enter please visit www.tourofcambridgeshire.com
For information about Thorpe Hall and the £6 million appeal visit www.thorpehall.org.