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Tour of Britain: Proposals taking shape for return to Aberdeen in 2022

Tour of Britain racing director Mick Bennett.
Tour of Britain racing director Mick Bennett.

Tour of Britain race director Mick Bennett says plans are already under way for the start of the 2022 race in Aberdeen.

The 2021 tour came to a climax on the Esplanade on Sunday, with Wout van Aert claiming the stage victory and overall glory by six seconds from Ethan Hayter.

It continued a strong connection elite cycling has with the Granite City, having had a three-year association with the Tour Series up until 2019.

The Grand DΓ©part of the Tour of Britain begins in Aberdeen next year and proposals are taking shape.

Bennett said: “We start up here next year. We’ve already done quite a bit of it but there’s t’s to be crossed and i’s to be dotted.

“We’ve managed all that through Covid. We should have been here last year, so one could argue we’ve had a bit longer to manage.

Wout van Aert crosses the line first to win the Tour of Britain.
Wout van Aert crosses the line first to win the Tour of Britain.

“There’s always changes to make. We were going to finish in the heart of the city but because of Covid we finished here.

“They resurfaced this (Esplanade) – it was like finishing on an airstrip. It was fantastic.”

Bennett was also able to breathe a sigh of relief as the stage passed without incident, praising the organisation of the local authorities.

He added: “I took a call with about 20km to go from our route safety manager, who said all junctions were secure and that’s a big weight off.

“The organisation by the local authority was perfect, I can’t fault it. This is the safest one I’ve done.

“I always say the most important thing for us as an organisation, is the safety of the riders and the general public.”

A star of the last two days was Xander Graham, who was pictured taking a bottle from Team Jumbo-Visma rider Pascal Eenkhoorn on the Hawick to Edinburgh stage on Saturday.

He was invited as a guest of honour on Sunday and was pictured on the start-line in Stonehaven with the team.

Bennett add: “You get lovely little opportunistic moments, like Xander Graham. You couldn’t buy that – we didn’t know that was going to happen. We had him on the podium and I love that sort of thing.

“Somebody sent me a vignette, where they’d cut the bodies off and just had the arms holding a bottle out. I thought that was fantastic.

“It’s really relevant as the UCI have stamped down on bottles being thrown away and the riders rebelled against that. It was a nice thing to happen.”

 

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