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Tour of Britain cycling race to give multi-million pound boost to Surrey

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: April 02, 2013

By Jennifer Hardwick jennifer.hardwick@essnmedia.co.uk

  • The Olympic cycle road race weekend on Dorking High Street.

  • Caroline Salmon

  • The Olympic cycle road race weekend in Dorking last year Photo by Mark Cheesman

  • The Olympic cycle road race weekend on the Leatherhead Bypass. Photo by Simon Thorne

  • The Tour of Britain route through Surrey including Dorking, Leatherhead and Mole Valley

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SOME of the world's best cyclists will speed through Mole Valley later this year as part of the Tour of Britain, it has been confirmed.

The UK's biggest professional cycle race's penultimate stage sweeps into Surrey on Saturday, September 21 and is set to provide a multi-million pound boost for the county.

The 96-mile Surrey stage will pass through Epsom, Leatherhead, East Horsley, Dorking, Holmbury St Mary, Cranleigh and Shere.

Cyclists will then continue on to Send, Woking, Ottershaw, Chobham, Knaphill, Normandy, Elstead, Churt, Farnham and finish in Guildford.

Alastair Grant, the tour's commercial director, said: "Mole Valley is an ideal location for a cycling event in Surrey. There we have the lovely towns and also the beautiful landscapes in the Surrey Hills.

"It's also somewhere that can be very well presented by hosting an event like this because the pictures go out around the world."

The announcement of more major cycling coming to Mole Valley comes after thousands of people lined the streets to watch the Olympic cycle races last summer and confirms the district as the country's cycling capital.

The rider line-up has not yet been announced, but previous competitors include former world champion and Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish and Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The team behind the tour is based in Weybridge.

"It's a source of great pride that we can bring the event to our home area and we're really looking forward to this year and hopefully many more to come," added Mr Grant.

"200,000 people came out to watch the Surrey part of the route last year so we're delighted to be bringing the race back and looking forward to what's sure to be another successful year this summer."

This year's Surrey stage is even tougher than in 2012, with daunting climbs over the first half of the race before some flat-out sprints in the run up to Guildford.

Mr Grant said he believed the Surrey leg of the race would be extremely important.

"We're pretty sure that the leader at the Surrey stage will be the winner overall so that will be a really crucial day," he said. The preparations are all starting to come together.

"This is our tenth year, so we are a well-oiled machine. We had our first year in Surrey last year and that was extremely successful."

Last year's Tour of Britain generated almost £7.2 million for Surrey's economy and was watched by almost one million television viewers on each of the event's eight days.

This year's race will again be televised.

"It's going to be very exciting," said Councillor Caroline Salmon, chairman of Mole Valley District Council.

"Obviously, there's a great deal of interest in cycling here.

"It will allow people to see the beautiful Mole Valley countryside. It's great for anyone who wants to come in from outside and see our marvellous area."

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4 comments

  • Why_Oh_Why  |  April 03 2013, 10:02AM

    Just to quote you back - "Actually, most of us cyclists pay a hefty VED, and eye watering fuel duty (as we own cars too). We do this in the not unreasonable expectation that we might have usable highways on which to cycle, in pursuit of our lawful business. In fact, UK law provides a specific right to use a public highway. Unreasonable obstruction of the highway is a criminal offence. Therefore, next time I'm commuting to work or a meeting (which is usually quicker than driving) when I come across an obstruction, like, say, a long queue of cars, often two abreast, driving slowly along the road, I'll call the police!

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  • ifoldman  |  April 02 2013, 3:10PM

    Actually, most of us pay a hefty VED, and eye watering fuel duty. We do this in the not unreasonable expectation that we might have usable highways on which to drive our vehicles, in pursuit of our lawful business. In fact, UK law provides a specific right to use a public highway. Unreasonable obstruction of the highway is a criminal offence. This applies to all of us, apart that is, from the cycling lobby, who are quite happy to shut the highway for hours or days at end, without public consultation about the merits, cost, 'reasonableness' or sheer inconvenience for hundreds of thousands of people of their 'race days'.

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  • Ginger_Ninja  |  April 02 2013, 2:22PM

    Ok, so I do not know enough detail to respond all your "points" but one I can answer. You do not pay Road Tax, Road Tax does not exist in the sense you argue. You pay VED and this is based on the emissions of the vehicle you drive. A cyclist pays the same VED as any other vehicle which produces 0 or extremely low emmisions, such as electric or hybrid vehicle (read nothing, £0) Roads are funded through council tax and general taxation.

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  • ifoldman  |  April 02 2013, 11:44AM

    "Last year's Tour of Britain generated almost £7.2 million for Surrey's economy" Yea, right! Surrey Today, get your reporter to walk the route of last year's road closures and talk to the owners of the local businesses whose income was decimated by the cycling road closures. Road closures about which local inhabitants were not consulted, and which were imposed by a small cabal of cycle-mad bureacrats. So here we are again. More road closures. More inconvenience for hundreds of thousands of Surrey inhabitants. No wonder the spin doctors are getting in early with the so called 'gains' for Surrey's economy. Ifoldman says "People of Surrey ... say 'NO' to road closures." If they want to race their toys, go to a velodrome and do it there. Not on roads for which we pay a fortune in taxes (but for which the cyclists pay... er.. nothing!). The only possible upside to the bike-fascists getting their way? We might get some of our road potholes repaired. Now isn't that ironic!

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