Welcome Cottages has been unveiled as headline sponsor for Stage 2, Clitheroe to Colne of the 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain.

Friday (May 29th) marks 100 days until the top Tour wheels into Ribble Valley and Pendle on Monday 7 September. 

The Aviva Tour of Britain is the most prestigious professional cycling road race in Britain and Ribble Valley Borough Council and Pendle Council are jointly hosting the Stage Two, which looks set to inject at least £2million into the local economy.

And Welcome Cottages, a flagship brand of Earby company Wyndham Vacation Rentals (UK), has been unveiled as the headline sponsorship for the stage, which has been billed as the Tour’s toughest.

The company has a long history of supporting cycling events in Pendle, in particular the Colne Grand Prix, which takes place every July.

Nick Rudge, managing director of Welcome Cottages said: “We have been the headline sponsor of the Colne Grand Prix for the last six years and are extremely proud to be headline sponsor of Stage Two of the Aviva Tour of Britain.

“We have lots of keen cyclists at our company and are really excited to be part of this historic race.

“We will be lining the roads to cheer on the top cyclists as they pass through Earby.”

The Aviva Tour of Britain gives cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders compete on their doorstep.

Stage Two will leave Clitheroe, then power through Ribble Valley, taking in the Nick o’Pendle climb, Dunsop Bridge – the exact Centre of the Kingdom – Slaidburn in the Forest of Bowland, then Barnoldswick, Barrowford and Nelson in Pendle, before finishing in the centre of Colne.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Pendle Council on hosting Stage Two of this flagship event.

“The Tour of Britain attracts a huge following, as well as an international television audience, so is the ideal showcase for Ribble Valley and Pendle’s many attractions.

“We are particularly delighted that Welcome Cottages is headline sponsor for Stage Two and are looking forward to giving the elite cyclists, their teams and tens of thousands of visitors a warm Ribble Valley and Pendle welcome.”

Leader of Pendle Council, Mohammed Iqbal, said: “We are really excited to be hosting a stage of this year’s Tour of Britain. 

“Stage Two is the shortest but toughest of the stages, so it will be a great one to watch.

“The Tour is the country’s largest free-to-spectate sporting event, attracting thousands of spectators to each stage, and according to an independent report last year’s stage hosts saw an injection of at least £2m into their economy.

“Pendle is a hidden gem and the Tour gives us an amazing opportunity to show the world what we have to offer.”


Mick Bennett, race director at Aviva Tour of Britain organiser SweetSpot, added: “We have been delighted by the enthusiasm with which Ribble Valley Borough Council and Pendle Council have embraced the Tour and today’s announcement marks the latest piece of good news around Stage Two.

“Stage Two will be one of the toughest legs of the Tour and the support of Welcome Cottages is excellent news.” 

Further details of the Stage Two route, including Ordnance Survey maps, will be announced later in the Summer, along with details of the 20 competing teams. A dedicated local website, including information about road closures and diversions, where to park, where to stay and how businesses can get involved, will also be launched.