SweetSpot Group, the organisers of the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain events, and British Cycling have today 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 often unnoticed and under-appreciated work of key workers and community champions since March 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.

SweetSpot will work with British Cycling’s regional development staff around the UK and local authorities host the races to nominate these unsung heroes.  Groups of riders will then have the unique and never to be forgotten experience of leading out the peloton at each start or to be part of the celebrations riding into each finish ahead of the professional races.

Ride for Heroes nomination form

Race fans can now nominate their unsung hero by completing the form below.

Anybody wishing to nominate somebody for the Tour of Britain’s Ride for Heroes can do so here

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, whereby selected amateurs will be able to ride each stage of the Women’s Tour in full 24 hours ahead of the professionals.

Click here to register your interest in these events.

In quotes

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, chief executive of race organisers SweetSpot, said: “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 Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain 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.”

About the 2021 Women’s Tour

Rescheduled for October owing to the pandemic, the seventh edition of the Women’s Tour will feature the race’s first-ever individual time trial, to be held in Atherstone, Warwickshire. The race, which forms a part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour, will also visit Oxfordshire and Walsall, before concluding in Felixstowe, Suffolk after two stages in the East of England.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent rescheduling of the race from its traditional June dates, the original planned venue for stage four is no longer able to host the race. Therefore SweetSpot are seeking a new partner(s) to fill the vacated slot on Thursday 7 October.

With cycling enjoying a boom in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of new and returning cyclists taking to two wheels, there are a range sponsorship opportunities with the Women’s Tour for brands looking be associated with Britain’s biggest professional cycling event.  Opportunities exist from race and jersey sponsorships to on a regional level to hosting stages of the race.