The Tour of Britain is a multi-stage men’s cycling race which takes place on British Roads over eight days of racing. Each year 120 professionals, including some of the world’s top riders and teams come to the UK to compete in the country’s biggest professional cycling race.
Following the successful staging of the final stage of the 2019 Tour of Britain, Greater Manchester was selected to host the event’s Grand Depart in September 2023.
The route began in Altrincham, Trafford where the race was officially started by Trafford Mayor Cllr Dolores O’Sullivan. Cyclists then raced through the city region passing through Bramhall, Marple, Shaw, Wigan, Walkden and more.
Stage one of the Tour of Britain culminated at the world-famous Deansgate in Manchester City Centre. Here, crowds of cycling fans lined the streets to see Olav Kooij sprint to win the opening stage for his team Jumbo-Visma.
Marketing Manchester and the Manchester Convention Bureau’s Sports Bidding Unit worked alongside colleagues from the ten Greater Manchester local authorities and MCRactive, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Greater Manchester Police, the Greater Manchester Resilience Unit alongside British Cycling and the organisers of the Tour – Sweetspot to plan the event.
In total, the event attracted 500,000 spectators and ahead of the post-event report being published, the estimated economic impact on Greater Manchester is approx. £3.5m.
Manchester a Cycling City
Manchester is widely regarded as the Home of British Cycling. The city houses world-famous Velodrome, part of the National Cycling Centre which was Britain’s first indoor Olympic cycling track. The National Cycling Centre is home to Great Britain’s Cycling Team but also offers a BMX arena, and amateur and elite tracks to ensure cycling is open to everyone.
In September 2023, the National Cycling Centre reopened to the public following a two-year renovation project to ensure that the heart and home of British Cycling can continue its incredible work for the decades to come.
As Manchester awaits the outcome of its bid to become the ACES European Capital of Cycling in 2024, events such as the Tour of Britain are key to showcasing the major events capabilities of the city region.
With this bid - and the associated projects and initiatives planned for 2024 and beyond - Manchester aims to shine a light on the important role cycling plays in our city’s sporting heritage and vision for the future.
Earlier this year Manchester City Council made a significant statement on how important cycling would be in the future of the city. By the end of 2028, it is hoped that the mode share for cycling in the city will be doubled and that cycling will become the default choice for making short journeys. This is also hoped to contribute to the target of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2038.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Cycling is at the heart of our transport strategy for the next five years, and with the impetus this accolade would bring, I am confident we will be able to truly make Manchester a great cycling city.
“We are determined, alongside our valued partners in the city, to capitalise on what becoming the Capital of Cycling would mean and to ensure that we can create a lasting legacy.”
Manchester is also home to the Bee Network, a £70m pipeline of funding which will create protected cycling routes throughout Manchester. More than 13km of cycleways have already been constructed, with additional routes in locations such as Ancoats and Deansgate in the pipeline.
The Manchester Convention Bureau is now working hard with key partners British Cycling, Manchester City Council and MCRactive to ensure major track and BMX events return to the calendar at the venue.