WORCESTER will host the start of the final stage of this year's Tour of Britain cycling extravaganza in a major coup for the city.

The city will take centre stage on Sunday, September 10 with the journey through Worcestershire taking in Pershore, Upton-upon-Severn and the Malvern Hills at British Camp before heading to Cardiff.

We can also reveal how star cyclist Mark Cavendish is expected to compete in the event, with a decision due this summer, as well as at least half the teams participating in Tour de France.

Worcester managed to secure a section of the race in 2014, boosting Worcestershire's economy by £1 million amid the melee to see Britain’s best cyclists in action.

The city has also previously hosted starts of the race in 2007 and 2008.

Last time more than 75,000 spectators lined the streets with city hoteliers, shops, cafes and restaurants enjoying a surge in trade.

Worcester will now how host the start of stage eight in September, with the race finishing outside London for the first time in five years.

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David Blake, the managing director of Worcester City Council, said: "It’s fantastic news that Worcester is to host the start of the final stage of the Tour of Britain.

"This exciting race will bring thousands of people into our beautiful city to see the nation’s top cyclists in action - boosting our local businesses and inspiring people to get active."

Jack Hegarty, who runs district councils in Malvern and Wychavon, said: "It is fantastic news - cycling is growing in popularity across the country.

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"It will be a great opportunity to see some elite riders in action as well as showcase our beautiful part of the world."

The University of Worcester is sponsoring the city's stage, with its vice-chancellor Professor David Green speaking of his delight.

He said: "We are delighted to be supporting cycling and Worcester - the university is consistently rated as one of the greenest in Britain.

"Promoting participation in cycling and sustainable transport is part of this."

Stuart Summers, co-owner of Worcester Cycle Centre in College Street said: "I'm really pleased it will help attract many people to the city centre and should have a positive effect on the local economy.

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"Events such as this help to get more people of all ages into cycling."

The event, officially titled the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, runs from Sunday, September 3 to Sunday 10 September.

Mick Bennett, its race director, said: "Worcester has always provided the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with a warm welcome and large crowds, and we are sure that will be no different this September.

"For a city outside of London to have the opportunity to host the start of the final stage is a rare privilege, which we know Worcestershire will fully embrace."


THE Tour of Britain is the UK's biggest free-to-watch sporting event and its top ranked professional stage race for cyclists.

It attracts the world's top cyclists including Olympic champions, world champions and Tour de France stage winners, and dates back to 1945 under various guises.

The event, which was re-launched in 2004 after a five-year absence, takes place over a week each September and is broadcast live for three hours daily on ITV4, with more than 1.2 million people tuning in to watch the nation's premier cycling event.

Stage one will start in Edinburgh on Sunday, September 3, with stage eight covering Worcester to Cardiff - on the final day of Sunday, September 10 - 180km long.

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Some of the other 2017 locations include Scunthorpe, Mansfield, Newmarket, Hemel Hempstead and Cheltenham, as shown in the map above.

Last year's winner was Great Britain's Steve Cummings.


STAGE eight will pass Worcester Cathedral for the first time, with the route covering six parts of the city.

Cyclists will start at Croft Road, in between the two car parks, before travelling to Dolday, Sidbury via the Cathedral, up London Road and then Spetchley Road.

From there participants will cycle to Drakes Broughton before going through Pershore, Defford, Baughton, Upton, Welland, Little Malvern and British Camp.

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The next section of the race will see cyclists reach Ledbury, Trumpet and Tarrington, and the Herefordshire villages of Dormington, Mordiford, Rotherwas and Broad Oak.

All the routes are subject to possible change, with more details due to be announced at a later date.