Newark Town Centre Races hailed a success by Newark and Sherwood District CouncilPosted on: Thursday, August 3, 2023
On Friday 28 July, the roads in Newark town centre were filled with the spectacle of cycle races from the inclusive community ride which saw riders of all ages take part through to the women’s and men’s elite races later in the evening.
It was clear in the evening that the spectators and racers were having an incredible evening with largely positive comments flooding in through social media as well.
But, for the races to be considered a success, there also needs to be a tangible benefit to the town.
Not only was Friday evening the busiest of the week, which is to be expected, it was also the busiest Friday of the month as well with tracked visitor numbers being up 100% compared to the average of the previous Fridays in July.
Pedestrian access was maintained throughout the day and evening of the event allowing most traders to continue as normal. Some traders extended their opening hours to capitalise on the increased numbers in and around the town.
One such business was the Green Olive, they also proudly displayed a yellow ‘Tour of Britain’ bike over their shop canopy, really entering into the spirit of the occasion.
The event takes place on a Friday every year, set by British Cycling to fit in with their events calendar, and this is the second year it has taken place in Newark. Despite the more changeable weather this year, the event was blessed with blue skies throughout the evening.
The biggest crowds were seen for the Community Ride and the final Men’s elite race, which shows that there is interest in both taking part in events like these and also seeing elite sports men and women competing.
Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, watching the start of the event said, “It’s great seeing so many people coming to Newark to see this event, what a great way to kick start a summer of cycling! I am really looking forward to the Tour of Britain coming to the District on 6 September, because, not only will it put Newark on the map, but will also showcase our wonderful District, taking in Edwinstowe, Boughton, Southwell and all the villages in between.”
“I am delighted to see elite sport coming to Newark,” continued Councillor Susan Crosby, Portfolio Holder for Health Wellbeing and Leisure, “For me, the Community Ride was a highlight, seeing families going round the course first was a delight. It would be great to see this event encourage our residents to take to two wheels and explore our district. Cycling is a great way to explore Newark and the surrounding areas with so many trails and cycle paths; you don’t have to be an elite athlete to enjoy going for a bike ride!”
The event organiser, Chris Lawrence, was delighted with the spectator turnout, “Newark is a spectacular place to host our season finale. The crowd really got behind every race, from the Brompton Bike relay through to the elite finals. We’ve worked hard to keep disruption for business to a minimum and we learnt a lot last year. It was great to see businesses who don’t normally open in the evening opening their doors for the spectators.”
Councillor Celia Brooks, Chair, Newark and Sherwood District Council commented, “The town centre felt very busy and vibrant, it also helped that the weather stayed dry. It was a great honour to cut the tape and start the event off with the Community Bike Ride. I was able to present some of the prizes, it was wonderful to be part of the podium celebrations. This has been a really positive event for the town; bringing new visitors in and offering local residents the chance to see and enjoy elite sport.”
Elite cycling will be returning to Newark and Sherwood District when the start and finish of stage 4 of the Tour of Britain take place on 6 September 2023.