The announcement that the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain will race through Northumberland in September has been warmly welcomed by the organisers of the Wooler Wheel sportive events.
Stage Four of the 2015 Tour will see some of the world’s leading professional cyclists tackle a route from Edinburgh to Blyth on Wednesday, September 9, including sections of the increasingly popular Wooler Wheel sportive routes. This is recognition of the work that Wooler Cycle Hub, a not-for-profit community enterprise, has done to put this area of north Northumberland on the cycling map through the creation of the Wooler Wheel events.
In 2015 there will be three separate Wooler Wheel events, with rides ranging in length from a 30km dedicated junior sportive (the only one affiliated to British Cycling), as part of the WW Borderlands, to a new very strenuous cross-border 200km route round the High Cheviots, aimed at elite riders.
Beth Mills from Wooler Cycle Hub said: “The announcement that the Friends Life Tour of Britain will come to Northumberland and race through the town of Wooler itself is an endorsement of the calibre of our sportive routes and an incredible boost to our mission to attract more cyclists.
“We are aiming to attract a total of 2,500 riders to our events this year, and I have no doubt that the fantastic publicity this area will get as a result of this announcement will help us fill our rides, and we are certainly planning to capitalise on this opportunity.
“The media coverage of the Tour in September will put north Northumberland firmly in the minds of the cycling public of the UK and around the world, and we hope to see the benefit of this long into the future. It will be incredible to see some of the world’s leading professional riders on parts of Wooler Wheel routes.”
Wooler Cycle Hub established the Wooler Wheel sportives as a way to bring more cyclists to the north east of England, and in particular the stunning Glendale area. The first Wooler Wheel event was run in October 2012, with entries of 350. Wooler Wheel events in 2013 drew entries of close to 900 and, in 2014, entries grew to over 1,400.
A recurring pattern following the Wooler Wheel events has been the positive comments of riders who have taken part, with challenging scenic routes, a variety of distances for all abilities, low traffic levels and the friendliness of the event organisers, marshals and local people repeatedly highlighted. Not to mention the Wooler Wheel flapjacks!