More than 750,000 people enjoyed the Tour of Britain in Gloucestershire in person or on television, according to official figures.
Stage seven of the 2023 Tour of Britain began in the shadow of Tewkesbury Abbey, on Church Street in the medieval market town, and headed east into the Cotswolds before heading south. The riders then raced north through the Stroud valleys before finishing the 170.9km route on Southgate Street in Gloucester.
Huge crowds lined the roads throughout with the route showcasing the best Gloucestershire has to offer, from stunning countryside to its historic towns and city.
The Tour of Britain has announced viewing figures for each of the eight stages.
Gloucestershire’s stage saw 25,000 people attend the start in Tewkesbury, with 25,000 people also watching the finish in Gloucester. This was in addition to 175,000 spectators on the route around the county, with an estimated 225,000 watching the race in person.
Only the opening stage in Manchester saw more fans take to the roadsides than Gloucestershire.
The county was showcased live on TV with ITV4 broadcasting the race live and an hour-long highlights package that evening. With 377,000 views of the live broadcast and 194,000 views of the highlights programme, a further 571,000 people were able to enjoy the race.
It means that 796,000 people saw Norway’s Rasmus Tiller take victory in a sprint on Gloucester’s Southgate Street.
The county council sponsored stage seven of the race to bring the Tour of Britain to Gloucestershire. Bringing the race to the county is aligned with the council’s commitment to supporting tourism, the local economy and active travel, such as walking and cycling.
It is estimated that hosting the race brings £3.5 million into the Gloucestershire economy.
Across the eight stages, 58% of people travelled just to see the race and 54% of spectators were inspired to cycle more often.
The county council is committed to supporting and encouraging cycling across the county and is currently building a 26-mile cycle spine from Stroud to Bishop’s Cleeve, linking Gloucester and Cheltenham, as well as delivering a wide range of other cycle improvements and training.
Cllr David Gray, Cabinet member responsible for the environment at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “These latest figures show just what a success bringing the Tour of Britain to Gloucestershire was. I’d like to thank all those who got behind it from our own staff to local businesses, the hospitality sector, cycling groups and those who came out to cheer on the incredible athletes.
“The race allowed us to show off everything good about Gloucestershire, and the numbers we can showcase here today show just how much the county has benefited.
“Bringing world-class cyclists to our county also plays an important role in inspiring people to get on their bikes and bringing new tourists to Gloucestershire. It is part of our on-going support for cycling, as well as the cycle spine that we are currently building which will make getting on your bike more accessible for our residents.”
For those people inspired to get on their bikes by the Tour of Britain, the council has teamed up with the Gloucestershire Bike Project to give away two £100 vouchers for their shop. To have a chance to win the vouchers, simply pledge to swap a short car journey for a walk, run, cycle or scoot.
For more information, visit https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/pledge-to-swap-a-car-journey.