Cyclists gear up to raise over £1m for charity as updated route confirmed for Vélo Birmingham

Full details of the updated 100-mile closed-road route for Vélo Birmingham have been confirmed.  The cycling sportive on Sunday September 24, which sold all 15,000 general entry places inside four days last year, will start and finish on Broad Street, central Birmingham. Over £1million is expected to be raised for good causes, including official charity partners Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC, Cure Leukaemia and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity.

The fully-closed route will take cyclists on a memorable journey from city to country, passing through Worcestershire via Sandwell and Dudley – plus the new 20-mile section in the picturesque county of Staffordshire – before finishing on Broad Street. Riders will then head into the Barclaycard Arena for post-ride celebrations.

Vélo Birmingham last week issued over 250,000 letters to residents and businesses along the route, which included in-depth information about the updated route and road closures and how to contact event organisers to discuss any concerns.

Each letter highlighted the new stretch that will take cyclists through Staffordshire towns and villages like Kinver, Wombourne and Trysull, passing famous local landmarks including Stourton Castle, Kinver Edge and Highgate Common.

Also included were full details about the other key change to the route, which will see riders pedal through Droitwich Spa, instead of heading towards Cutnall Green, before joining up with the A448 in Worcestershire.

Cyclists taking on the gruelling challenge will receive plenty of support along the way, as family and friends join forces with local communities to cheer them on.

The riverside town of Bewdley is planning to stage a festival for all the family while the ‘Halesowen in Bloom’ committee is preparing a painted bike display around its town centre.

The Wolverley Beer Festival, with attractions for all the family, is also getting behind Vélo Birmingham as the Gardeners Arms, Droitwich, prepares to throw a party for locals.

Extensive road closures will be in place throughout the day to ensure the safe delivery of the event. Businesses and residents based on or near the route are advised to visit www.velobirmingham.com/the-route/road-closures to discover the updated road closure timings and how best to navigate around them on the day.

Vélo Birmingham has been working extensively to resolve as many local issues created by the road closures as possible by devising specific local traffic management plans. Organisers will continue to work closely with businesses and residents along the route to minimise the impact of the necessary road closures.

The updated route has been agreed in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Worcestershire County Council, Staffordshire County Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, plus emergency services and transport operators.
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

With this landmark event now fast approaching, we are extremely excited about welcoming 15,000 cyclists from far and wide to Birmingham for the rare opportunity of riding through the city centre on completely closed roads. Birmingham has a long and proud history of hosting a wide range of prestigious national and international sporting events and we are very much looking forward to continuing this success on September 24.

Cllr Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said:

We look forward to giving everyone a warm welcome to Worcestershire on September 24 and we wish all the riders the best of luck in their final weeks of preparation. A total of 15,000 cyclists will be passing through our beautiful countryside and attractive towns and villages and tackling some challenging climbs and we're confident riders will enjoy making their way through Worcestershire.

Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Staffordshire County Council, said:

We’re delighted to be part of Vélo Birmingham which will see riders pass through the beautiful Staffordshire villages and towns of Kinver, Wombourne and Trysull. Events such as this give us a great opportunity to showcase what our great county has to offer, as well as boosting our local economy and tourism businesses. We’ve already held other events including IRONMAN, Women’s Tour cycling and the UK Corporate Games which have all been a huge success and helped promote the area to a global audience.

Councillor Richard Marshall, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said:

This exciting event is just around the corner now. We look forward to giving a big Sandwell welcome to everyone taking part as they ride through our section of the route and come past the newly-restored Lightwoods House.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said:

This is the first race of its kind to come to the Midlands and is a fantastic opportunity for keen cyclists from across the country to see the best of our region while raising thousands of pounds for worthy charities. I hope residents will come out to show their support for the 15,000 cyclists taking part as they pass through the borough.

Jon Ridgeon, Executive Chairman of Vélo Birmingham organisers CSM Active, said:

We’re delighted to confirm full details of Vélo Birmingham’s updated route, which I’m sure will further whet the appetite of the 15,000 cyclists gearing up to take part. The route is truly spectacular and it is great to hear that so many of our participants will be riding to fundraise for a range of extremely worthwhile causes. I would like to thank all our local authority partners for their continuing commitment and support.

An interactive route map can be viewed here: https://velobirmingham.com/the-route/

Vélo Birmingham is the flagship event of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution – a Birmingham City Council initiative aiming to make cycling an everyday way to travel in Birmingham over the next 20 years.

Although general entries sold out last September, it is still possible to enter Vélo Birmingham via one of the limited spaces still available through official charity partners.

In addition to the charity entries, prospective participants can also secure their place on the start line via the Business 100 entry option and be in with a chance of riding alongside former England Rugby Union World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson CBE.

Supported by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and The Birmingham Post, the Vélo Birmingham Business 100 provides the business community with a unique opportunity to experience an unrivalled VIP participation experience with extensive networking opportunities.
Only a limited number of Business 100 teams are left, so companies are encouraged to visit www.velobirmingham.com/the-ride/business-100/ and secure their company team now.

There are also plenty of volunteering opportunities for anyone not able to take part but still keen to contribute to the success of one of Birmingham’s biggest sporting events of the year. To register your interest to be a volunteer, please visit: www.velobirmingham.com/info/volunteers/

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