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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Cycle race predicted to bring in business to Barrow

A MAJOR cycling event will deliver a huge economic boost to Barrow and allow amateur riders and children to be part of the spectacle.

Barrow was yesterday officially announced as the only venue in the North West to host a Pearl Izumi Tour Series event this year.

The event will be broadcast to a national audience on ITV 4.

Around a 1.5km stretch of central Barrow will be shut off to form a track for some of the world’s top cyclists due to compete on the evening of May 15.

The event follows the success of the Tour of Britain, which had a stage in Cumbria last September.

Alistair Grant, commercial director of the Tour of Britain and the Tour Series, said there would be the opportunity for schools to take part.

And there will amateur races building up to the pro race, giving locals a chance to compete on the track in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd.

The route will be revealed at a launch event in Barrow, but Mr Grant said Barrow will “work very well” as a host town.

He said the Tour of Britain Cumbria stage had been a success and was now delighted to bring the Tour Series to Furness.

“Barrow was unfortunately one of the only authorities we weren’t able to take the race to, due to its location,” said Mr Grant.

“But we’re now looking at a new, long-term plan with our partners at Cumbria County Council and that will hopefully integrate most, if not all, areas of Cumbria into our events.

This year we’ve got the Tour Series taking place in Barrow and hopefully we’ll have the Tour of Britain coming back in future years.”

Last year, the biggest crowd for the Tour Series was Ipswich (18,500) and the smallest was Kirkcaldy (7,500). On average, 12,500 turned out for each race.

Councillor Kevin Hamilton, who represents Barrow on the county council, said: “It will be a big night for Barrow and everyone in the town has a lot to get excited about. The Tour Series, like the Tour of Britain, seems to go from strength to strength every year.

“Let’s show the organisers and the rest of the country watching on TV what a great welcome Barrow can give.”

Paul Loftus, organiser of the Lake District’s Fred Whitton Challenge and member of Lakes Road Club, said young riders would relish the chance to race on a competitive town centre stage.

“It’s fantastic and we will do everything possible to help out and put on local events before it,” said Mr Loftus. The big one all the local young lads go down to is Otley (West Yorkshire).

“That’s the nearest they can do for a city centre criteria. So it’s really good that we can bring it right home.

Have your say

as a taxi driver it is going to be a nightmare trying to get people to work and children to school on time and the extra cost caused by diversions

Posted by john smith on 12 May 2014 at 17:16

Wow, a major sporting event coming to Barrow. That is great for the town and promotes the area in a positive light. Let's hope it inspires a generation of kids to get on their bikes and get fit. Also let's hope it inspires the County and Borough councils to improve our cycle paths and roads, which are a danger to cyclists currently.

Posted by Colin on 4 March 2014 at 12:38

View all 7 comments on this article

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