As the world’s best professional cyclists prepare to tackle the Tour of Britain this autumn, ferry company Wightlink highlights the delights and challenges of the race’s final stage around and across the Isle of Wight.
Experienced local cyclists have produced a short film for the ferry company to reveal the spectacular scenery and challenging gradients that await up to 120 riders on Sunday, 11 September. The eight-day race starts in Aberdeen on Sunday, 4 September.
Members of the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team know the Island’s roads better than anyone else and are pleased to share their insights in the film. The Tour of Britain’s final stage will start in Ryde and finish at The Needles Landmark Attraction after crisscrossing the Island for 150 kilometres.
Julie Cooper from the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team says: “We are absolutely thrilled that the eyes of the world will be focused on the Isle of Wight as the Tour of Britain reaches its climax. Due to significant improvements on the Island over the past few years, we’re really fortunate to be able to cycle on some of the best road surfaces in the country, as the professional riders will find out in September.”
The film begins in Ryde, connected to Portsmouth by Wightlink’s FastCat foot passenger ferry. It continues through many Island towns and villages, including Newport, Sandown, Ventnor and Yarmouth, home of one of Wightlink’s ferry ports. The elite cyclists will fight it out during the final 20 km along the Military Road, which offers stunning panoramic views across the English Channel. It will finish with a two-km climb up to Tennyson Down, at an average gradient of 9.6%. That makes it the toughest ending to any Tour of Britain in modern history.
Commentary to the film is provided by rider Martin Sanders who has been part of the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team since 2015: “The Tour of Britain, without doubt, will be one of the most exciting cycling events to ever come to the Isle of Wight. We are so excited to see some of the world’s top riders tackling the roads that we are fortunate to train on, week in, week out. We can’t wait for September!”
Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield adds: “We have a long and proud history of supporting the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team and are pleased that they have shared their in-depth knowledge of the tour route. Their film showcases the Island’s stunning scenery and highlights the Island as a top destination for cyclists.
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the final stage of this year’s Tour of Britain and are looking forward to bringing competitors and spectators to the Island. We are sure this will be a thrilling end to the Tour of Britain 2022.”
Keen amateur cyclists can experience the Island’s top cycling conditions for themselves as the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team will be holding its own IOW Open Time Trial Championship event on Sunday, 4 September. The Team has chosen a classic sporting course covering many of the roads to be used in the Tour of Britain the following week. See www.facebook.co.uk/WightlinkRT for details.