The Tour of Britain, the UK’s largest professional bike race, will begin in Greater Manchester in 2023.
Scheduled for 3 September, the Manchester Grand Départ will mark the race’s return to the city for the first time since 2019, when Mathieu van der Poel clinched the title with victory on the final day.
In a statement released this morning, race director Mick Bennett said: “It’s great to return to Manchester following the huge successes of the race’s last visit there in 2019 and, of course, this year’s Tour Series Grand Final in the heart of the city.
“Manchester is both synonymous with British Cycling and the way it is leading the charge towards active transportation so we can’t wait to get the 2023 Tour of Britain underway in the city.”
British Cycling is based in the east of the city at the National Cycling Centre.
Jonathan Day, British Cycling’s acting cycling delivery director, said: “[The Manchester Grand Départ] will provide a great opportunity for many of our Great Britain Cycling Team riders to showcase this fantastic sport to even more people, giving them the chance to see some of the world’s best riders on their doorstep.
"With activities taking place across the weekend, it’s the perfect opportunity to inspire more people to get on a bike and give cycling a go.”
Manchester's Grand Départ coincides with wider investment in cycling infrastructure throughout the city. Earlier this year, the government announced that Greater Manchester will receive £13 million in funding for walking and cycling projects, including protected cycle lanes and bike-friendly 'CYCLOPS' junctions.
In the statement shared by the Tour of Britain, councillor John Hacking said that hosting the race will be a “real honour” and will celebrate Manchester as a “premier cycling city”.
Last month, it was revealed that the 2023 edition of the Tour of Britain will finish in Wales, as part of an extended partnership between the race organisers Sweetspot and the Welsh government. No details are currently available regarding the exact route for either the opening or closing stage.
This September, the race opened in Aberdeen but was cancelled after stage five, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. As a result, Movistar’s Gonzalo Serrano was declared the race winner, having taken the red leader’s jersey with a win on stage four.
Further details about next year's eight-stage Tour of Britain are expected to be revealed in the New Year.
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Tom is one of Cycling Weekly's news and features writers. In 2020, he started The TT Podcast, covering both the men's and women's pelotons and featuring a number of British riders.
An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides.
He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.
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