Following this week’s announcements of the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour routes for 2021, event organiser SweetSpot Group and British Cycling have unveiled plans to celebrate the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic at this year’s races.
Ride for Heroes will honour and celebrate the work of key workers and community champions since the start of the pandemic in 2020 at each stage start and finish venue of both the Tour of Britain (Sunday 5 – Sunday 12 September) and Women’s Tour (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October) this year.
Brian Facer, British Cycling CEO, said: “I don’t think that anyone can overstate the vital work which has been done by key workers over the last year, whether they are NHS staff or everyone who kept the country functioning. The Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour are two of our key events which visit towns and cities across the country, so it is an ideal opportunity for us to thank the key workers and community champions for everything that they have done.
“Supporting this initiative is just about the easiest decision I have had to make since joining British Cycling, and I’m looking forward to working with SweetSpot Group and our own network of volunteers to deliver outstanding and memorable events later in the year.”
Hugh Roberts, CEO of SweetSpot Group, added: “We want to make both races not just about the world-class racing and superstar riders but also through our campaign, Ride for Heroes, to ensure it is a celebration of ‘all things British’”.
“It will be an occasion for ourselves and British Cycling to thank all those who have worked tirelessly over the past year to ensure our wellbeing and safety. The SweetSpot team are determined that not only will there be great racing to enjoy but the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour will also be ways by which communities across the country can come together and show their appreciation for our COVID heroes over the past 12 months.”
SweetSpot will work with British Cycling’s regional development staff around the UK and local authorities that host the races to call on the cycling community nominate these unsung heroes via the event websites at tourofbritain.co.uk/ride-for-heroes and womenstour.co.uk/ride-for-heroes.
Working together, SweetSpot and British Cycling will also explore other fundraising initiatives, including the return of The Great Tour, the 64-day circumnavigation of Britain’s coastline by bike, and a potential One Day Ahead ride, where selected amateurs will be able to ride each stage in full 24 hours ahead of the professionals.