The Cheltenham stage of the Tour of Britain has been hailed a huge success after thousands of people lined local roads to cheer on their cycling heroes.
In a carnival atmosphere across the Borough, Dylan Groenewegen gave the crowds a thrilling finish last Saturday by winning the stage. Groenewegen battled through the downpour and outsprinted triple stage winner Caleb Ewan and Brenton Jones.
Councillor Rowena Hay, cabinet member for finance said: “Saturday 9 September was an amazing day, Pittville Park was buzzing, the demo bikes and stalls on the Long Gardens were constantly busy, the streets were lined several deep from the Evesham road, the finish was spectacular with the crowds cheering the riders on.
“Just looking at the incredible number of people there were, and the smiles on people’s faces despite the weather, I do believe that this was a fantastic success for our town and our thanks go to all the sponsors and contributors to the event.”
“I was delighted to hear Mike Bennett, Sweetspot race director saying from the outset; ‘it has been an ambition of mine for some time to bring a stage of the Tour of Britain to Cheltenham, hosting the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain in Cheltenham is fantastic’ and after the tour Mick said; ‘it’s very rare that you get this support; the warmth and friendliness of the people of Cheltenham and Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswolds Tourism, it’s quite emotional. The warmth and friendliness and the support was unprecedented”. Tracey Crews, council project sponsor said: “From start to finish the whole event was an exciting spectacle and it was fantastic to see so many top athletes cycling through our gorgeous regency town”. “We believe this event will inspire many more people to take up cycling – either for leisure recreation or competitive sport – and to get and stay fit and healthy throughout their lives”. Mark Powell, regional sales director of Bloor Homes said: “Bloor Homes has been delighted to be the main sponsors, and we knew that the Festival of Cycling would be great from the start, but it exceeded our expectations in terms of success, support from the people of Cheltenham and sheer excitement. To see these remarkable athletes at such close quarters was really great and we offer our congratulations to Dylan Groenewegen on a well-deserved victory.”