Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads are pleased to announce that after months of negotiation, they have been successful in their bid to host one of the stages of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series – one of the UK’s leading televised cycle races, bringing action and excitement to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight.
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series – put together by the same team behind the organisation and promotion of Tour of Britain – brings together the very best in British professional teams and high-profile, celebrity riders, competing on town and city centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.
The main, team-based race, which is open to 10 teams comprising of five professional cyclists, is a highly popular and competitive event. Registered entrants have the chance to ‘test their mettle’ around the circuit and against the clock. The team with the fastest lap times will be presented with winners’ medals on the professional podium!
Taking place at 10 venues around the UK in May and June, the star-studded sporting event will use a circular route around the town on Thursday, 14th May. Ryde town centre will be converted into a professional race circuit giving residents and visitors an adrenaline-fuelled glimpse of Britain’s top professional cyclists battling out in our streets.
David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Attracting high profile events like The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is only possible because we have Visit Isle of Wight, our own destination management organisation (DMO) building partnerships and opportunities.
“This single event should deliver approaching £750,000 of media value and visitor spend this year alone.
“Winning the bid to host the race on a Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday is a major coup for the Island as it provides an opportunity to build long weekend business in mid May.”
Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, added: “It is very pleasing we have been able to secure this prestigious event to come to the Isle of Wight in such a wonderful location. The council recently secured nearly £1 million under the government’s second Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the money is being used to support local initiatives and projects such as ‘Bicycle Island’ to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport. Part of the LSTF grant can be used to support local events and we are delighted to be supporting such an important sporting occasion using some of the funding, because major sporting events such as the Pearl Izumi Tour are shown to inspire people take part in recreational cycling.
“Elsewhere the tour has attracted thousands of spectators and I am sure local residents will come along and support this event and join in the fun. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the Island as a place where people want to live, work and visit.”
Alastair Grant, Commercial Director at Sweetspot, commented “We are excited to be bringing the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to Ryde and the Isle of Wight, which will be the first, not just for the Series, but also for one of SweetSpot’s event. We are sure that residents from across the Island will be excited by the chance to watch Britain’s fastest teams in action, and hope lots of fans travel with us to enjoy the race in a beautiful setting.”
The team-based, cycle race series, which attracts thousands of spectators, will be televised the following evening on sports channel ITV4, bringing action-packed and exciting team-based racing into living rooms across the UK.
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is being funded by VIOW and LSTF – the project which aims to improve and promote the Island’s sustainable transport network – with support from Island Roads, Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association, Southern Vectis and ferry operators Wightlink and Red Funnel.
The staging of the event, which follows months of negotiation led by VIOW, will cost just over £90,000 – a joint investment of £27,250 by the DMO and partners, £45,000 from the LSTF fund and a cash equivalent of up to £20,000 by other partners including Island Roads.
Paul Herbert, Service Director at Island Roads said: “As an Island company passionate about improving the highways network for the benefit of all road users, we are delighted to be playing our part in supporting this high profile event which will bring both positive publicity and an economic boost to the Island.”
With a wide range of community activities and support events planned for the 14th May, plus the main Pearl Izumi Tour Series race at 7.00pm, there’ll be plenty to see and do for local residents and visiting spectators alike.
The race route and full schedule of events will be available by the beginning of April.