There’s only 75 days to go until the start of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, and councillors and businesses in Bourton-on-the-Water have recently learned that their community will host an Eisberg sprint stage of the event on Saturday 9 September.

On that day, stage seven of Britain’s premier road cycling event will start in Hemel Hempstead and traverse Buckinghamshire before entering the Cotswolds via Charlbury and Shipton Under Wychwood; it will continue to Bourton-on-the-Water before heading up the Fosse Way to Moreton-in-Marsh. Riders will then turn towards Winchcombe and Cleeve Hill before finishing on the Promenade in Cheltenham town centre.

You can find more details of the Stage Seven route here.

The Cotswolds School

With just over two and a half months to go, communities throughout the county are generating a buzz to show their support for this special event. In Bourton, the great news about hosting an Eisberg sprint stage is just sinking in, and excitement reached fever pitch when professional riders Rob Partridge and James Lowsley-Williams from the Bike Channel Canyon team visited The Cotswold School on 20 June to meet some of the students.

Aside from sharing experiences about their careers as top athletes, Rob, James and various students also took part in a film promoting the Cotswolds and the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, which you can watch here.

Will Morgan, Principal at The Cotswold School, commented:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to see world class sport in the Cotswolds – one which will inspire many of our youngsters, from the many who participate for fun to elite athletes we have at the School. Ultimately, it brings the community together.”

His thoughts were echoed by former professional rider and Bourton resident Sharon Laws who also attended the launch, and added:

“I am thrilled that Bourton-on-the-Water is hosting a sprint stage of the men’s Tour of Britain. I won the Queen of the Mountains Jersey at the inaugural Women’s Tour in 2014 (the female equivalent of the men’s Tour of Britain) and the race atmosphere and support of the British public made it one of my career highlights. I hope the race will inspire local cyclists of all age groups and encourage more people to get on bikes and explore the beautiful Cotswolds.”

Sharon Laws

Sharon Laws in the Queen of the Mountains jersey during the 2014 Women’s Tour.

Cotswold District Council announced in January that they were supporting the bid to bring the leg to the area and contributed £10,000 to the bid. Cllr Len Wilkins, CDC Ward Member for Bourton, said:

“Unlike many other sports, cycling is accessible to everybody, and this sprint stage of the Tour of Britain offers a rare opportunity for people in the Bourton area to see top class athletes on their doorstep.

“Cycling provides a great way to be physically active and we hope the OVO Energy Tour of Britain will inspire many more residents to get on their bikes and help to make Gloucestershire England’s most active county”

Debbie Payne, Chair of the Bourton Chamber of Commerce was equally enthusiastic:

“We are encouraging local businesses to make the most of this opportunity and find a wide range of ways to promote Bourton – and I am sure that 9 September will be a great success.”

If any business has ideas for promoting the event, or would like more information, please contact Carol Teece at Duttons or email admin@bourtoninfo.com