The route of this year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain London stage is to be a circuit race confined to Westminster only – against the organiser’s wishes.
ToB organiser Sweetspot had requested that the capital’s stage – likely to be the final stage on Sunday, September 13 – was a route that passed through several areas of the city.
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But the Cycle Superhighway that is being built across the city involves infrastructure changes on Victoria Embankment, one of three viable routes that connects the City with Westminster and a frequent host of the Tour of Britain.
This means that highway officers have had to reroute the Tour from its traditional City of London course.
A City of London report revealed that the September event was one of three events that required “new routes through the City” because of the Cycle Superhighway disruption.
It elaborated: “In some instances, where it has not been possible to resolve some of these practical issues, a more radical alteration of the event route has been required, eg. the Tour of Britain, where event promoters wanted a route through the City that would have shut most of the Square Mile all day.
“Officers felt this was a substantial and excessive escalation of the event footprint, and partly as a result, the current event plan now restricts the 2015 Tour to a circuit in the Westminster area.
A spokesman for City of London confirmed to Cycling Weekly that the race is not likely to go through the City, as it has done in previous years: “Whilst the event incorporated Victoria Embankment in previous years, this is unlikely to be an option this year. Discussions are still on-going but it is possible that it may not incorporate streets in the City.”
It is not the first time that the Tour of Britain has been forced to find a course that does not involve the wider areas of the city with a Papal visit by Pope Benedict XVI meaning that in 2010 the final stage was a 100km circuit race in Newham won by Andre Griepel.