OVO Energy has been announced today (10 August 2016) as the lead sponsor for the Bristol leg of the Tour of Britain 2016.
In what is expected to be one of the biggest sporting events in Bristol’s history, the city will host Stage 7 of the Tour over a whole day on Saturday 10 September with the world’s top cyclists taking on an individual time trial and circuit race on a 15 kilometre route in and around the city centre.
Household names like Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins will be taking part in the race alongside other professional cyclists who are currently battling it out this week in Rio for Olympic medals.
The title sponsors of the Bristol stage, OVO, is an award-winning, growing business situated in the heart of Temple Quay who take pride in their customer focused approach, sustainability credentials and provide its staff with a positive working environment.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, OVO’s founder and CEO, commented: "We're proud to be part of the thriving Bristol business community, and the Tour returning for the second time is testament to what a great city this is.
“This partnership feels like a natural fit with OVO's mission to be better for everyone - cycling is an enjoyable and sustainable sport and it is great to have an opportunity such as this which brings together our team and the wider Bristol community to raise funds for a fantastic local cause."
As part of the partnership, OVO will be organising a special family-friendly fundraising event which will take place between the morning time trials and the full circuit road race in the afternoon. All monies raised by OVO in the lead up to and during the event will be used by the company’s charitable arm, the OVO Foundation, for a new youth homelessness project in Bristol. The event promises to be an incredible spectacle for residents of Bristol, the global cycling community and anyone with an interest in world-class sport.
The Tour’s visit to Bristol is being enabled by Bristol City Council and organised by The Bristol Partnership for Sport and Active Recreation.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: "I'm delighted that OVO Energy is supporting the Tour of Britain’s visit to Bristol next month. With a full day of racing around our city this will be one of the biggest sporting events in Bristol’s history and a chance for the whole city and visitors to come together to watch the cycling elite grace our city streets completely free of charge.
“I have no doubt the event will attract thousands of visitors to the city bringing with them plenty of investment for local businesses and putting Bristol on the map as the active and passionate city we all know it to be.
“I am committed to making cycling more accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds. I am certain that having a global spectacle like this right here in Bristol will be a great source of inspiration to local potential cyclists to go out and give it a try.”
Councillor Mark Bradshaw, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, represented the Mayor at the lead sponsor announcement.
He said: “The tour’s visit this year will be a great event for Bristol and for cycling sport worldwide. We are confident it will be a fantastic spectacle with thousands of spectators lining the route.
“Cycling is already well-embedded into daily life for many people in Bristol. It’s a good non-impact form of cardiovascular exercise that can be used for everyday journeys around the city. If more people took up cycling regularly it could ease pressure on our transport system and, in the long run, our health services. With world-class events like the Tour and the Skyride visiting the city, we are hopeful to see more people than ever out on their bikes around Bristol this year.”
One OVO employee and avid road racer, Matt Franklin, will be leading the OVO Cycling team as they ride the route of the Bristol leg and place it on the Strava map to commemorate the Tour coming to the city and open the route up to other Bristol cycling fans both before and after the Tour has visited.
Matt comments: “It's exciting to once again have some of cycling's top professionals competing around our city. I'm thrilled that OVO has taken the opportunity to support the race and given us the chance to get involved in raising money for an important local charity project too. The race is a great spectacle and I encourage as many people as possible to get out there, ride their bikes and cheer on the riders."
The Tour of Britain previously visited Bristol in 2014 and TV footage was broadcast to over 200 million homes around the world. It was estimated that the last mid-week stage visit was responsible for nearly £500,000 worth of investment in local shops and hotels. With the whole day stage in Bristol this year, early estimates suggest that this investment from visitors in the city could rise to nearly ten times as much as this over course the weekend.
For more information, please see www.bristoltourofbritain.com and follow all the updates live using #tobbristol - the official Twitter hashtag for the Tour of Britain in Bristol presented by OVO Energy.
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