Cyclists climb a hill as spectators line the road edges
© Zac WiLLIAMS (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire will play a key role in deciding who is crowned this year’s Tour of Britain champion when the UK’s leading cycle race visits the historic county in September.

The seventh and penultimate stage of this year’s Tour will start in Tewkesbury and finish alongside the historic Gloucester Docks on Saturday 9 September.

This stage – the first full day of racing in Gloucestershire in race history – was originally scheduled to feature in last year’s Tour of Britain, but was cancelled following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The medieval market town of Tewkesbury will host the stage start, before over 100 of the world’s best riders head through Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire to a thrilling finale into the cathedral city of Gloucester.

With the start and finish locations separated by a little over 10 miles, and the event being held on a Saturday, this is a great opportunity to view and support the event and fans will easily be able to attend both the start and finish on race day, which will further add to the atmosphere at this free-to-watch sporting spectacle.

Details of the final route to be used for stage seven and the full stage timetable will be published during July, but it will be and undulating route to really test the riders on their penultimate day and will showcase the incredible scenery and landscape that Gloucestershire has to offer,

While the 2016 race passed through the county, and the penultimate day of the 2017 event culminated in Cheltenham, this will be the first stage set entirely within Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I delighted that we that we are able to host stage seven of the 2023 Tour of Britain, following on from the success of the Women’s Tour coming to the county in 2022. Events like the Tour of Britain are key to helping our economy thrive and showcase, to a significant international audience, all that Gloucestershire has to offer. Bringing world-class cyclists to our doorstep also has the potential to inspire more people to ride their bikes.”

Councillor Claire Young, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We are excited to welcome the Tour of Britain to South Gloucestershire this September. The event is a great way to bring communities together to spectate as the riders pass through our countryside, towns and villages and will also showcase our wonderful area to its global audience of millions. The excitement of the race has the potential to inspire more people to get out on their bikes in the local area and enjoy the benefits of cycling and travelling sustainably.”

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “We know how much people in Gloucestershire were looking forward to our planned stage in 2022, so, a little later than expected, we’re excited to be heading to this beautiful part of Britain! This stage is really going to give us an indication as to who will be crowned our 2023 champion, which further adds to the anticipation. Of course, none of this would be happening without the support from Gloucestershire County Council and South Gloucestershire Council, both of whom have shown an unwavering commitment to hosting the event, dating back nearly two years!”

The Tour of Britain 2023 will begin in Greater Manchester on Sunday 3 September and culminate eight stages later in South Wales (Sunday 10 September). Along the way the riders will race through Wrexham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Essex, creating an unforgettable sporting spectacle that is free for all to watch.

Since its return in 2004, the Tour of Britain has become a cornerstone of the UK sporting calendar. Over 15 million people have watched the event in person, with the race generating over £330m for the UK economy to date. Former winners include Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (2018), the two-time world champion, and Belgian star Wout van Aert (2021), while British sporting hero Mark Cavendish holds the record for the most stage victories (10).

ITV4 will continue to broadcast live start-to-finish coverage of every stage, as well as a daily highlights show, allowing fans in the UK to watch the action unfold wherever they are. International coverage will be available in over 150 countries courtesy of Eurosport and GCN+.