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Tour of Britain set for most spectacular finale to date as Isle of Wight confirmed for 2022

Originally set for 2021, the Tour of Britain's visit to the Isle of Wight has been confirmed for September 2022

Rather than completely cancelling the 2020 Tour of Britain when the coronavirus pandemic ruled it out, race organiser Sweetspot simply bumped the whole thing forward a year and as such the original plans for 2021 also had to move.

Following the date changes it has now been confirmed that the Isle of Wight will host the final stage of the 2022 Tour of Britain, promising the race its most spectacular finale to date.

This will be the Tour of Britain's first visit to the Island and was confirmed by an agreement between Sweetspot and the Isle of Wight Council, signed on the morning of Saturday 4th July.

The news was announced in a special ceremony on Ryde seafront, which also marked the start of The Great Tour. This is a 64 day, 6,700 kilometre charity fundraising cycle starting and finishing in Ryde and tracing the coastline of Great Britain.

As has been the case for a number of years, the 2022 Tour of Britain will be broadcast live to a worldwide audience giving those unable to attend the chance to glimpse the glory of the Isle of Wight.

The Tour of Britain's intention to visit the Island is fantastic news – for spectators and the riders who get to race its roads – but a single day visit is almost a wasted opportunity and will show the route planners the need for a multi-stage repeat visit soon after.

Although small, the Island has enough variation in terrain to host several stages. A sea level to near-highest point time-trial starting in Ventnor, followed by a long road stage around the lanes of the South and West Wight, finishing with a sprint stage into the seaside town of Ryde – where the 2015 Tour Series was held – would be a great three days of racing.

The Island has a history of hosting cycle races, although nothing of this calibre has taken place for a number of years. The pro-am cross-Europe Sealink International stage race visited in 1983, the Isle of Wight Classic took place in 1985 and Sweetspot's own Tour Series turned Ryde into a crit circuit in 2015.

The Tour Series has not been back since, with speculation that a grumbling minority spooked the local council from agreeing to a return visit. It now seems that such shortsightedness has been overcome as council leader Dave Stewart praised the race's choice of location for its 2022 finale.

'Securing the Tour of Britain is a major coup for the Island and just what is needed to help boost the local economy after the devastating impact of coronavirus,' councillor Stewart explained.

'This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning landscapes of the Island to an international audience, attracting spectators locally and from afar to enjoy world-class cycling.

'Just as the Isle of Wight is synonymous with sailing, so too I hope we can become a mecca for all things cycling with Tour of Britain and other exciting cycling events in the pipeline.'

Hugh Roberts, Sweetspot's managing director who is riding The Great Tour, explained the longer-term plans his company has for the Isle of Wight.

'This is just the start of our relationship with the Isle of Wight, and through events like the start of the 64 day Great Tour ride we will be working with the Isle of Wight Council and partners to put the island firmly on the cycling map in the 2020s and helping people to "Ride the Isle",' Roberts said.

'I look forward to returning to Ryde and the Isle of Wight in September at the conclusion of The Great Tour having hopefully done a lot to create a legacy route around Britain’s coastline and raised awareness and funds for a variety of community, health and environmental causes, and look forward even more to September 2022.'

Aberdeen to Ryde, the 2022 Tour of Britain

The 2022 Tour of Britain is set to start in Aberdeen with its final stage on the Isle of Wight. The race's exact dates will not be confirmed until next September following the publication of the UCI’s 2022 road cycling calendar.

According to the announcement of the race's visit, SweetSpot and the Isle of Wight Council are 'jointly exploring other opportunities in cycling for 2021 as a build up to September 2022 when the Island will become the focus of the cycling world during the final stage of the Tour of Britain.'

Page 1 of 2Tour of Britain set for most spectacular finale to date as Isle of Wight confirmed for 2022

Page 1 of 2Tour of Britain set for most spectacular finale to date as Isle of Wight confirmed for 2022