There’s still a few hours until the full 2014 route is unveiled, but race organiser Sweetspot has already revealed Liverpool will host the opening stage of the UK’s largest pro cycling race, Tour of Britain.
Liverpool will be the ‘Grand Depart’ city on Sunday 7 September, the first time the city has hosted the opening stage – although it hosted stage finishes in ’06 and ’08 and a mid-race stage in ’07. Stage One will start and finish on The Strand, taking in the world-famous backdrop of the Three Graces. It will consist of ten laps of a 13-kilometre circuit.
Dare 2b has also been revealed as the Official Clothing Partner and jersey supplier to The Tour of Britain, in a three-year deal.
Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for sport, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: "This is a huge coup for the city. It’s wonderful news that this world famous sporting event will begin in Liverpool. This race attracts some of the best riders from across the globe with previous races featuring elite cyclists such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome.
"There’s a real momentum building for cycling in this city. The latest figures show more people than ever are using bikes here and there’s a real appetite for it at the moment. And with the launch of our cycle hire scheme – the biggest in the UK outside of London – there has never been a better time for Liverpool to host this high profile event.”
Race Director Mick Bennett said: "We are delighted that this year’s Tour of Britain can start with such a prestigious stage in the centre of Liverpool. The opening circuit will be perfectly suited to the sprinters, and whoever wins Stage One will pull on the first yellow jersey of 2014.
"With the support of Liverpool City Council we are looking forward to making this year’s Grand Depart a memorable occasion for cycling fans.”
Meanwhile, Dare 2b’s three year clothing deal with the race will see it supply all of the four leader’s jerseys for The Tour, as well as all staff and crew clothing, for the eight day event, which takes place between the 7th and 14th September this year.
A new range of Official Merchandise for Britain’s biggest professional cycle race will also be developed, allowing fans to show their support of The Tour of Britain at the roadside this September.
Dare 2b Managing Director, Graham Rickard said, "As a British based brand it’s really exciting for us to be a part of the country’s biggest professional cycle race. This year is set to be a huge year for cycling in Britain and with our AEP collection in collaboration with Tour De France winner, Oscar Pereiro being our most advanced cycling range to date, we are confident that with our extensive knowledge we will produce top quality jerseys for the race.”