The AJ Bell Tour of Britain is set to return to Nottinghamshire in 2022 after a four-year absence from the UK’s leading race.

It follows Nottinghamshire County Council agreeing in principle to host a stage next year after talks with AJ Bell Tour of Britain officials.

Nottinghamshire previously hosted a stage of the UK’s biggest cycling race in 2017 and again in 2018, leading to national and international interest in the county.

The stage in 2018, which took the world’s best riders from West Bridgford to Mansfield, attracted 250,000 spectators, making it the largest sporting event in Nottinghamshire’s history.

Nottinghamshire also received an economic windfall from the tours with £3.9m spent by participants and spectators in 2018 on accommodation, food and drink and shopping.

The next step to the Tour returning to Nottinghamshire is for the county council’s Communities Committee to give it the green light. Full details of a Nottinghamshire stage, including a route and timings, will then be confirmed in early 2022.

Dates for the 2022 AJ Bell Tour of Britain will be confirmed by the UCI, cycling’s governing body, in the coming weeks. The race will start in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire before a first-ever Isle of Wight stage to end.

Video: Relive the race’s last visit to Nottinghamshire in 2018

In quotes

Councillor Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I’m thrilled the Tour of Britain is set to return to Nottinghamshire in 2022, an event like this has the potential to give our county a huge boost after the challenges of the pandemic.

“We had a hugely successful time hosting stages of the Tour in both 2017 and 2018, and I would expect the same for 2022.

“There are countless benefits to the Tour of Britain returning for our businesses, for our communities, for our health and for Nottinghamshire, including the chance to again be on a global stage which we deserve.

“The Tour of Britain coming back to Nottinghamshire would also play an important part in the economic recovery of our county and show we are bouncing back stronger than ever.

“Everyone should be very excited at the prospect of the Tour coming back to Nottinghamshire, every corner of our county could get something positive and long-lasting from its return.”

Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of the county council’s Communities Committee, said: “I’m sure councillors will remember how successful the Tour of Britain was for Nottinghamshire previously and I am delighted we have the opportunity again to host a stage.

“I was particularly pleased at the community engagement from our earlier stages of tours, including significant work with local schools, art competitions and partnering at a grassroots level with district, parish and town councils.

“We developed a real sense of community involvement; we would want to repeat this in 2022.”

Race director Mick Bennett said: “The Tour of Britain had a fantastic time in Nottinghamshire in 2017 and 2018, on both occasions participants and spectators enjoyed a brilliant atmosphere.

“Nottinghamshire has a rich sporting heritage making the opportunity to hold a stage in the county even more special.

“It is fitting that the draft contract for next year has been announced as the 2021 Tour gets underway.

“We are delighted to be working again with Nottinghamshire County Council and look forward to putting pen to paper on a final contract in the near future.”