Stoke-on-Trent Tour stage sets TV viewing figures record

The Stoke-on-Trent stage of the 2011 Tour of Britain was easily the biggest hit with television viewers, recent audience figures have revealed.
 
Close to three quarters of a million people tuned in to ITV 4 to watch the hour-long highlights package of the 80 mile stage which began at Trentham Gardens and finished outside the Town Hall in the city centre.
 
The viewing figures were split over two days, with the initial programme shown on the night of the event on Tuesday September 13, with a repeat showing the following morning.
 
A record 592,000 watched Lars Boom power to victory up the hill on Albion Street, just hours after the event finished in the Stoke-on-Trent sunshine. A further 127,000 saw the repeat on Wednesday.
 
The closest stage to Stoke-on-Trent was Stage 4, when 649,000 tuned in over the two days to see the Welshpool to Caerphilly race.
 
The figures represent a record for the four-year period the event has been shown on ITV4 and was 250,000 more than watched the televised Stoke-on-Trent stage last year.
 
Organisers are delighted with the statistics, released by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, which indicate the UK’s growing fascination with cycling.
 

The figures all over the country were vastly up on last year, with Stoke-on-Trent breaking records. Nearly three quarters of a million is on a par with ITV4′s Tour De France figures. It is great news for everyone and shows that the event and the sport is growing rapidly in popularity.

 
This year’s event was the fourth time the Tour of Britain has come to Stoke-on-Trent, with more and more local people coming out to watch each year.
 
In September Mark Cavendish took part in the race, using it as a warm-up event for the World Championships a week later ““ which he duly won.
 
Since then Cavendish, a favourite for Olympic Gold next July in London, has joined Team Sky which increases the chances of the 20-time Tour De France Stage winner taking part in his home tour each year.
 
Initial reports suggest that the Tour resulted in a net economic impact of over £3.5 million for the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire region, with further results expected next week.
 
In further good news, the city council Event’s Team has won recognition after being awarded a runner’s up place in a competition run by sponsors Halfords for the Tour Series Event back in June.
 
The award was based on the supporting events, promotion and effort. Stoke-on-Trent were judged second out of eight venues which will result in a number of prizes for the council. 
 
Stoke-on-Trent engaged local schools and community cycling groups for the day’s activities with a great response. The team at Stoke-on-Trent also worked well during the planning process, making sure everyone was up-to-date with their plans and also open to suggestions and developments.

 
The city council’s Events Team were beaten into second place by Colchester, but were granted runner’s up ahead of other race hosts’ such as Oldham, Exeter and London. They will receive a certificate, a trophy and a framed winners’ jersey.
 
All of this is really good news. This year’s cycle events have been better than ever. That so many people tuned into our stage shows how popular cycling is in this region and how good a job our team do in putting it on with partners. It is great to see Stoke-on-Trent setting records.
 
That our Events team has also been recognised for their excellent work is fantastic. London has a stage of the Tour of Britain and also a leg of the Tour Series and more people watched on TV to see our city’s Tour of Britain stage than they did for the one in the Capital and our leg of the Tour Series has been judged a better event than the one in Canary Wharf by sponsors’. This shows exactly what the city is capable of and is reward for everyone’s good work.

 
This is brilliant news. It is fantastic that so many people watched the Stoke-on-Trent stage on television ““ and a record too! It was a wonderful day, it is a fantastic event and let’s hope we can bring it back next year.