Tour de Tendring to return

WHAT was once one of the highlights of the social calendar in north Essex is to be revived - the Tour de Tendring.

Roddy Ashworth

WHAT was once one of the highlights of the social calendar in north Essex is to be revived - the Tour de Tendring.

The popular annual event, which over 15 years saw tens of thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities take to the roads of the district, will take place again this year on June 6.

Organiser Tendring District Council (TDC) decided not to mount the event in 2008 after the number of participants began to fall away.

But now the way the day-long tour is run has undergone a thorough review and is being be re-launched for this summer.

Instead of being a standalone event as it was in the past, the tour is to become the focal point of a number of activities taking place during the year to raise the profile of cycling in general.

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These will be aimed at giving an emphasis on the health benefits of cycling, both as a competitive sport, a means of transport and as a hobby.

Les Double, TDC's portfolio holder for community, partnerships and renewal, said he was delighted that the Tour de Tendring was coming back.

“We have looked at various options and explored the possibilities and believe we have a winning formula which will prove popular again,” he said.

“I hope that people will sign up to take part in an event which will help improve the health and well-being of the community.”

It is expected that the Tour de Tendring will attract mass participation from across all ages, with routes covering 50 and 20 miles to suit either casual or competitive riders.

Part of the aim of the event is to boost tourism in the area, and it is hoped the upcoming event will bring in participants from abroad who would not normally think of visiting the Tendring area.

The tour will also be geared to raising money for charity - as it has done in the past.

The event will begin and end at Dovercourt Swimming Pool and a host of entertainment and activities will be laid on at the site during the day.

The new-look Tour de Tendring will be supported by Essex County Council (ECC) and NHS North East Essex who have pledged financial backing for three years through to the Olympics in 2012.

An event team is being put together with representatives from the Council and other organisations such as ECC, NHS North East Essex, Schools Sports Partnership and local clubs.

There will also be an opportunity for schools and organisations to develop projects with cycling as the main theme.

Anyone wanting to find out more should contact Mark Wilcox, TDC's Assistant Head of Leisure Services on 01255 686686.