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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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Barrow hosting of Tour Series stage is a coup for Furness

AFTER weeks of excitement, the final countdown is now on to a major cycling event and sporting spectacle in Barrow.

In a real coup for Furness, it was announced in February that the town would be the only North West venue for the 2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series, which is visiting 10 locations throughout the UK over five weeks.

Following on from the success of Cumbria hosting a stage of the Tour of Britain last autumn, Cumbria County Council has now successfully brought this fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled race to Barrow.

In recognition of the lead local sponsor, the all-day extravaganza has been named the Pearl Izumi Tour Series BAE Systems Barrow Stage and takes place on Thursday.

A 1.1km track will be created in the town centre and is expected to be surrounded by thousands of spectators, both local and from other areas, many of whom will stay overnight and spend money in shops and bars.

Cumbria received an estimated £4.1m economic boost by holding stage two of the Tour of Britain cycle race in September, with the stage starting in Carlisle and ending in Kendal.

And it is hoped the Tour Series can also deliver a significant shot in the arm to the Barrow economy.

The event will play host to not only some of the world’s best cyclists, but also provide the unique opportunity for children and local enthusiasts to compete in a professional environment.

Highlights of the main event will be shown on ITV4 on Friday, showcasing Barrow to living rooms across the country, and it will be available to stream live at www.tourseries.co.uk.

Councillor Kevin Hamilton, chairman of the Barrow Local Committee on Cumbria County Council, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant that the council have brought the event to Barrow and it’s fantastic to work in partnership with a leading sponsor like BAE Systems.

“It just goes to show that Barrow can attract major events like this and it’s bound to be a brilliant night for the whole town.”

Arrad Foot’s Jack Sadler is a member of the Rapha Condor JLT squad but due to the sheer strength of the squad, the up-and-coming 19-year-old development rider did not make it into the five-man team. But he does specialise in the cut and thrust of the town centre tracks and is sure the Barrow event will be a big hit with the spectators – and even boost the sport of cycling locally.

He said: “It’s an amazing opportunity to have it so close to home. It will be fantastic for Barrow to see some of the best riders in the world race here and have such a massive event in the town.

“Hopefully it will encourage people to get on their bikes themselves.”

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