Countdown to Grand Depart


Cornwall’s first-ever prestige cycling event is less than a month away.

The Grand Depart of the Tour of Britain leaves Penzance on September 5 and support from local businesses is gathering pace.

Cornwall Council’s economy portfolio holder, Stephen Rushworth, explained: “We have an exciting partnership with the professionals, local cycling experts Saint Piran, who are fielding a team for the race. They will provide authoritative blogs raising the profile of the event, and training programmes for young cyclists.

“The Cornwall Tour of Britain also has major sponsorship from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, operators of the Scillonian lll ferry and Skybus. And we have other backers from various sectors – eco-technology company Cornish Lithium Ltd. mining to reduce the need for fossil fuels, the Talent Tide recruitment consultancy in Pool, Shore Partnership property agency based in Devoran, the family confectionary company Buttermilk who have won awards for their fudge, brittle and chocolate, coffee roasters Tiki Tonga, and for good measure craft lager brewers Jubel will be providing apres-race cheer.

“This is a very widespread expression of support, but there is still plenty of time for other businesses to back Cornwall’s greatest-ever free spectator sports event.”

The Tour of Britain race will be an attention-grabber for Cornwall, showcasing dedication to carbon-free transport and combating climate change, a host of world-class cycling facilities, and how well Cornwall handles major events.

Companies sponsoring will have their logos and messages on trackside banners, seen by thousands of spectators and on over five hours of live TV coverage on ITV4, much of it filmed from the air. This will be the longest-ever sports TV broadcast from Cornwall, and shown globally via satellite channel Eurosport, as well as syndicated coverage in sports bulletins across the UK and round the world. Radio 5 Live and Cornwall’s local stations will also cover from flag to finish.

Sponsors will be helping to defray the initial costs of hosting the Tour’s start, but also contributing to a wider benefit to the local economy estimated to be at least £3.4 million.

Stuart Reid, CEO of race sponsor the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said it had arranged an earlier sailing for Sciillonian lll on 5 September to fit better with the race start in Penzance: “There’ll be advisories going out to all of our passengers informing them of the event, making sure they all get to their destination and freight gets to the islands.”

The ‘Grand Depart’ is in Penzance at 11 am, and through the day cyclists will battle on the 111 mile course through Cornwall to be first across the winning line in Bodmin on Sunday afternoon. Penzance and Bodmin are planning extra celebratory events including a firework display and a music festival, and both will have giant TV screens to capture all the race action.

There are still some sponsorship packages available. Click here for more details.