The Tour of Britain has announced its first-ever Dorset stage, which will traverse through Purbeck and conclude in Ferndown, bringing world-class cycling to the area.
The seventh stage of the famed bike race will begin in West Bay on Saturday, September 10, and will pass via Dorchester, West Lulworth, and Corfe Castle before continuing inland to Wareham, Milton Abbas, and Wimborne Minster before terminating in Ferndown.
The seventh stage is the last day of this year’s Tour of Britain, and it will display Dorset’s natural splendor, particularly the Jurassic Coast UNESCO Globe Heritage Site that runs across the county, to the world on television.
Tour of Britain Stages
- Stage one Sunday 4 September Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre
- Stage two Monday 5 September Hawick to Duns
- Stage three Tuesday 6 September Durham to Sunderland
- Stage four Wednesday 7 September Redcar to Duncombe Park, Helmsley
- Stage five Thursday 8 September West Bridgford to Mansfield
- Stage six Friday 9 September Tewkesbury to Gloucester
- Stage seven Saturday 10 September West Bay to Ferndown
- Stage eight Sunday 11 September Ryde to The Needles
SweetSpot competition organizers promise a sports spectacle with more than 100 of the world’s greatest riders taking part.
The 180-kilometer (112-mile) course would first track the West Dorset Heritage coast before traveling through Dorchester, West Lulworth, and Corfe Castle before traveling inland to Wareham, Milton Abbas, and Wimborne Minster.
The route includes notable hills such as Whiteway Hill in East Lulworth, Bulbarrow Hill, and Okeford Hill, and ends on Ferndown’s Victoria Road.
“The eyes of the cycling world will be on Dorset come Saturday, September 10, and I know that both the world-class riders competing and the huge TV audience the Tour of Britain attracts will be blown away by the sheer beauty of the county,” said Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director. But, more importantly, the difficult terrain will provide for an exciting day of racing, with the race for a stage win in Ferndown expected to be heated!”
While this is the contemporary race’s first visit to Dorset, the county previously hosted the Milk Race — a semi-professional precursor of the Tour of Britain – many times in the 1970s and 1980s. Since 2016, the net economic impact of hosting a stage of the Tour of Britain has been worth £3.5 million to venues.
“Dorset Council is excited to be working with Tour of Britain on what promises to be a brilliant opportunity to showcase what our county has to offer to the world,” said Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel, and Environment.
“By extending stage seven of the race from the west to the east of Dorset, we hope to maximize the potential benefits for as many local residents and businesses as possible, and we look forward to welcoming both competitors and spectators later this year.”
ITV4 will broadcast live coverage of every stage, as well as evening highlights. The race will also be broadcast in over 150 countries across the world, owing to collaborations with Eurosport and the Global Cycling Network.
Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo – Visma) of Belgium won last year’s star-studded event, with reigning world road race champion Julian Alaphilippe finishing third overall. According to Frontline research, the Tour of Britain generated £29.96 million in net economic gain for the UK economy due to a roadside audience of more than one million spectators.