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Etape Pennines Event

A MAJOR cycling event has been axed because it has not generated enough interest to continue.

Today, (Wednesday, November 19) sponsors and organisers IMG Challenger World (IMG), confirmed The Marie Curie Cancer Etape Pennines Event would not be taking place in 2015.

The 60-mile route, which sees more than 2,000 cyclists take on the roads of Teesdale and Weardale after starting in Barnard Castle, has been held for the last three years.

This year’s event, held on July 20, also came under fire by farmers and residents who said necessary road closures would harm tourism and disrupt haymaking after it was moved from October to the first week of the summer holidays.

Weardale county councillor, John Shuttleworth, said: “It’s an event that people do follow, but then some people don’t – something else will come along. I have had mixed comments about it so I would say it’s 50/50.”

However, Richard Varcoe, owner of Barnard Castle business, Spitfire Cycles, said: “There’s been too much pushback locally so maybe the organisers have had enough.

“It’s extremely bad for the businesses because it brings 2,000 people to the area, some of which are here for three days, so all the accommodation fills up. It’s the farmers that are complaining about it because for one day of the year they cannot trunk around in their tractors.”

IMG said it was sorry to announce that it would not be happening for a fourth year.

Managing director, James Robinson, said: “Etape Pennines has been a fantastic project to be involved with and we are proud to have given many cyclists the chance to ride this fantastic, beautiful route over the last three years.

“It is disappointing that this event will not be taking place in 2015, and we would like to thank the local community and County Durham for all of their support over the last few years.”

Durham County Council previously said the event brought in about £235,000 to the economy last year.

Nigel Dodds, strategic manager of culture and sport at Durham County Council, said: “We are disappointed to lose the Etape Pennines which we believe introduced many people to the stunning beauty and visitor offer of the Dales.

 “However we understand and respect IMG’s decision.

“Being part of the etape from its concept has allowed us to gather a wealth of experience which we will now use to enrich the range of cycling events which the county has a growing reputation for hosting.”

Via Northern Echo -Major Cycle Event Etape Pennines Gets Axed

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RESIDENTS and businesses have been warned to expect road closures while cyclists race 78-miles round County Durham in front of 3,000 spectators.

The 78-mile long Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines road race will this year take place on Sunday, October 6.

A series of meetings is to be held this month for residents to find out more about the roads affected and to offer them the opportunity to raise any issues.

Representatives from event organiser IMG Challenger World and officers from Durham County Council will be at the meetings to provide information and to answer questions. People who live or run businesses along the route have been encouraged to attend.

Nigel Dodds, the council’s strategic manager for outdoor sports and leisure, said: “Last year the event attracted competitors from around the world and brought a huge boost to the local economy, in excess of £235,000.

“However, we recognise that while the event brings a number of benefits to the region, the necessary road closures inevitably cause some disruption.”

The race starts on Harmire Road, Barnard Castle, and it heads through the Durham Dales, Weardale, Teesdale, Esh Winning, Crook and Hamsterley Forest.

The meetings are at: Cowshill Village Hall, on June 24, at 6.30pm; Crook Civic Centre, on June 25, at 6.30pm; Teesdale Leisure Centre, on June 26, at 7pm.

Details on the road closures can be obtained from IMG on 020-8233-5900, between noon and 2pm Monday to Thursday, or by emailing info@etapepennines.co.uk. A map, can be found at http://www.etapepennines.co.uk/roadclosures.

via Businesses face road closures as major bike race heads through town (From The Northern Echo).

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