With 100 days to go until the Tour of Britain departs from the town, the major refurbishment scheme of Penzance’s Victorian promenade is now complete and ready to welcome spectators.
The refurbishment is a key part of Cornwall Council’s ambition to provide a cycling and walking trail, connecting Penzance to St Erth, Hayle and St Ives.
A commemorative marker for the Tour of Britain was installed as a part of the renovation of Penzance Promenade, to mark the start location for the Tour of Britain 2021.
Stage One on Sunday September 5 will set off from Penzance Promenade heading through St Just, St Ives, Hayle, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Newquay and St Austell before the finish in Bodmin after 180.8 kilometres (112.3 miles) of racing.
While it may be the first visit for the modern Tour of Britain to Cornwall, this week also marks 29 years since the Milk Race – a semi-professional forerunner of the Tour of Britain – began in Penzance in 1992.
Councillor Linda Taylor, Leader of Cornwall Council, said: “In addition to showcasing Cornwall as a cycling destination, the Tour of Britain brings a fantastic opportunity to promote to our community the many benefits getting on a bicycle can have, from living healthier lives, helping with our wellbeing to caring for our environment.
“The refurbishment work which has just been completed on Penzance Promenade is a great example of the long-lasting legacy projects associated with this event that the Council is leading on that will benefit our local residents and visitors.”
Race organiser SweetSpot is currently working closely with Cornwall Council, Devon & Cornwall Police, and other stakeholders to minimize disruption for residents and to provide clear communications to ensure that the event is enjoyed by everyone.
The Tour of Britain operates a rolling road closure to keep disruption along the route to an absolute minimum, with roads usually closed for less than 30 minutes as the race passes through. More information including a video can be found here. Detailed timings for the whole of the Stage One route will be published in early July.
Among the teams already confirmed for the Tour of Britain are the Cornwall-based Saint Piran squad who will be making their debut in the race.
Rider Steve Lampier, who has ridden the Tour of Britain on five previous occasions, said: “The countdown has begun. 100 days until the most exciting day of my career! Having been dreaming of the big races since I was a small kid riding around Cornwall to now having the world’s best on the roads. It is amazing to think about.
“I now have a solid build up with lots of European races planned to get me and the team in the best shape for what will be a hard day and race. This will be an event not to miss as Cornwall gears up to welcome the biggest ever sporting event ever to be held in the Duchy.”