The victory of professional cycling’s most exciting talent, Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel, in the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain heralds an exciting new era for Britain’s leading cycle race.

Van der Poel took victory on Saturday as the 16th edition of the modern Tour of Britain came to a conclusion in Manchester city centre, with an estimated 500,000 fans having seen the final stage race through all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

With less than a week to go until the road World Championships take place in Yorkshire for the first time, the cycling world’s spotlight remains on Britain, with the previous two Tour of Britain champions the favourites for success.

“Mathieu van der Poel has proved himself to be a worthy candidate for the rainbow jersey of World Champion with his two stage wins and attacking racing this week,” said Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett.

“The fact that he will be going head-to-head with our 2018 winner Julian Alaphillipe shows the strength of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the quality of the field that the event continues to attract.  For us, to see either crowned would be a dream scenario and an endorsement of the race.”

Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot and British Cycling have applied to become part of the new UCI ProSeries for 2020 and are also seeking an additional, ninth day for the event in order to continue to take the Tour to new areas of the UK and create cycling festivals around the overall start and finish.

The Tour’s first-ever Cornwall stage will open next September’s race, with more details of the route to be announced in the Autumn, including the location of the overall race finish, as organisers seek to increase the range of mass participation events, corporate rides and cycling festivals associated with Britain’s leading cycling event.

“Together with British Cycling we want to build the Tour of Britain into the fourth biggest race in the world, and as such are looking for new commercial partners to join us on this exciting journey,” said SweetSpot’s Hugh Roberts.

“The fantastic crowds and exciting action we have seen across the country over the past eight days show that the appeal of the Tour of Britain continues to grow, and the fact that this year we achieved truly global television coverage shows how the race can continue to celebrate Britain and our fantastic culture, heritage and natural landscapes at home and abroad.

“We want to continue to celebrate all that is great about Britain, while also continuing our drive to make the Tour of Britain, and our associated races the Women’s Tour and Tour Series, as sustainable as possible.

“In order to achieve our aim of making the Tour of Britain the fourth biggest stage race in the world, we want to become as connected as possible with our spectators, at the roadside and around the world, in order to promote the race, the areas we visit and the commercial partners who support cycling in Britain, and this can only be achieved through bringing new partners into our world.

“There is a fantastic platform available for brands wishing to associate themselves with the Tour of Britain over the next decade and to enable us to achieve these aims and to continue to deliver this free-to-attend event to the millions of spectators, including tens of thousands of school children, annually.  Following on from Cornwall 2020 we have exciting plans for the route and venues for future editions of the Tour of Britain that we look forward to sharing.”

For British Cycling the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain saw the incorporation of HSBC UK | Go Ride events and Breeze rides into stage starts and finishes, while the HSBC UK | Let’s Ride Manchester event on Sunday 15 September attracted thousands of cyclists into the city centre of Manchester the day after the race finish for a traffic free cycling festival.

British Cycling Chief Executive Julie Harrington said: “The 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain confirmed its status once again as a landmark of the British sporting summer and gave us the perfect platform from which to look forward to the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, starting on September 21.

“For British Cycling, working with SweetSpot on events like the Tour of Britain and with local authority partners like Manchester City Council, mean we can reach even more people and encourage everyone to get active by getting on their bikes.”

The 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain saw 20 teams and 120 of the world’s top riders taking part in the eight-stage event between Glasgow and Manchester city centres.  Among the stage winners in the Tour were Dylan Groenewegen and Matteo Trentin, both of whom won Tour de France stages this summer, while the field as always contained numerous World, Olympic and National champions.

Trentin also secured the Cetaphil points jersey, sponsored by sensitive skincare brand Cetaphil, who along with Sigma Sports and the Hawkshead and Sadlers breweries were one of the new partners for the 2019 race.

Stuart Shaw, Head of the Cetaphil Business Unit for Northern & Central Europe said: “Not only was the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain a fantastic opportunity to raise the awareness of one of our fast growing brands in the U.K, it was also a powerful engagement tool.

“We were able to have thousands of rich conversations directly with our consumers whilst sampling to thousands more potential new users at the event. It was a pleasure to be closely involved in the UK’s premier bike race and to support such an inclusive sport.”

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.