Riders on Castlegate in Newark during last year's stage. 060917DC3-11
Riders on Castlegate in Newark during last year's stage. 060917DC3-11

A global audience of millions will once again see cycling's major event - the OVO Energy Tour of Britain - pass through Newark and Sherwood this year, it has been announced tonight.

Nottinghamshire has been chosen to host the penultimate - and longest - stage of the Tour of Britain.

The biggest free-to-attend sporting event returns on Saturday September 8 starting in West Bridgford and ending in Mansfield.

The route will take in Southwell, just as it did last year, but Newark misses out this time around. 

The announcement comes on the back of last year’s successful event which attracted 210,000 supporters for the Nottinghamshire stage on the day - one of the biggest turn-outs across the eight-stage UK race, which boosted the county's economy by more than £3.4m.

The eyes of the world will be on 120 of the world’s top cyclists as they race the stage, which is approximately 139 miles, or 223km long.

The race will travel through many towns and villages including Southwell, Cotgrave and Radcliffe in the Advertiser area.

The route will also take in key Nottinghamshire landmarks such as the new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, Newstead Abbey, Clumber Park and Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: "We are absolutely delighted that the race will be returning to our great county on Saturday September 8 – and will take in every district, including the city area.

“Last year's event really was a fantastic day and shows that Nottinghamshire has what it takes to host a sporting event of this scale.

“We hope even more residents and visitors will turn out in force to experience this fantastic event this year - and let's hope the county reaps even bigger economic benefits.”

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race director added: “The turn-out for the Nottinghamshire stage last year really was incredible.

"The viewing figures for ITV4 show that Stage Four was popular with the audience at home too, with half a million people tuning in to watch the highlights– attracting the highest ratings of any of the other seven highlight shows.

“So we are delighted to be returning to Nottinghamshire as this year’s route makes it seem like a completely different county.

"We are taking in a lot of new areas, approaching a significant part of 2017’s route from the opposite direction as well as having hillier sections this time.”

Councillor Simon Robinson, leader of the Rushcliffe Borough Council said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome such a unique, prestigious event to the borough for the first time. 

“We are proud of our heritage in sport and it’s fantastic we have been chosen as a host county and that so much of the stage will ride through Rushcliffe.”

Mr David Lloyd, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said he was looking forward to many communities getting involved in another showcase day.

“Last year, thousands of the district’s residents shared in this celebration of cycling, while showing off the district at its very best to an international audience,” he said.

The economic impact report commissioned by the Tour of Britain organisers showed that spend on food and drink was by far the biggest contributor to the local economy last time (almost £1.13m) followed by accommodation costs ( £611,000) 

More than 39% of those who turned out to watch the race had travelled from outside the county – therefore attracting around 81,000 visitors to Nottinghamshire.

Almost two-thirds of spectators said the race had inspired them to cycle more.