The final stage of 2011 The Tour of Britain is returning to central London this September.
Less than a year ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, the Transport for London stage of the nationwide race will end in Whitehall on Sunday September 18th. As the final day is a Sunday the event is expected to draw a huge crowd eager to see the world's top cyclists race on the streets of the capital.
The same circuit will be used as those held in the heart of London in 2008 and 2009.
Over one million spectators watched the 2010 Tour. This year's event will start in Scotland, meaning the race will visit England, Scotland and Wales in the same edition in 2011 – the first time that has happened since the Tour relaunch in 2004.
“For our partners and sponsors and of course our fans it is very important that we return to central London, for what will be a spectacular finish to The 2011 Tour of Britain,” said Hugh Roberts, chief exec of ToB organiser SweetSpot Group. “As Britain’s biggest professional cycle race and this country’s largest free-to-spectate sporting event it is important that we finish with an iconic finale, and as we showed in 2008 and 2009 there is no better place to hold The Tour of Britain than at the heart of London.
“This is a major commitment from us as organisers of The Tour of Britain, and we can now look forward to working with our partners Transport for London over the coming months to make Sunday 18th September a great celebration of cycling and a huge success for all parties. “We are planning a full programme of events on the day surrounding The Tour of Britain, including The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride, schools events and a unique corporate charity fundraising event.”
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, added: “The Tour of Britain is a fantastic event and I am thrilled to be able to support it. I would urge Londoners and visitors to turn out and cheer on the cyclists as they whizz past some of the capital’s iconic landmarks and raise money for a really worthwhile cause.”
Race Director Mick Bennett commented: "As previous years have shown the circuit we are using is perfectly suited to the sprinters, so I expect to see the stage again culminate in a bunch sprint. In previous years riders of the calibre of Mark Cavendish, Matt Goss and Andre Greipel have all won sprint stages, so I’m sure that 2011 will be no different.
“With the World Championships in Copenhagen just a week after The Tour of Britain, this will be a dress rehearsal for some of the world’s top sprinters to go head-to-head before the Worlds. The course in Denmark looks to be suited to the sprinters, so there is a very real chance that we could see a World Champion in waiting winning in London at The Tour of Britain.
“I’d also like to thank Newham Council for hosting the final stage of The Tour of Britain in 2010, when the Pope’s visit meant we were unable to bring the race into central London. Newham were fantastic hosts and helped us to exceed all expectations for the stage, and we gave very serious consideration to returning to London’s Olympic and Paralympic Borough this year.
“However for technical reasons faced by ourselves and Newham Council it just wouldn’t have been possible for them to host The Tour of Britain in 2011, so we are very much looking forward to returning to Westminster and the City of London in London’s pre-Olympic year.”
The Tour of Britain will support The Prostate Cancer Charity. There's more detail on that here.