Mansfield is now officially on the map with the news that the town will host the start of the Nottinghamshire stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race this year.
It will be the first time that Nottinghamshire, which is the only county in the Midlands to host one of the eight stages, has hosted an entire leg.
Wednesday September 6 will see 120 of the world’s top cyclists racing a 175-kilometre stage from Mansfield to Newark.
The route will take in Eastwood, Hucknall, Gedling and the grounds of Newstead Abbey and the centre of Southwell.
After heading through Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park, the stage will loop the north of the county and the towns of Worksop and Retford.
The Tour of Britain, sponsored OVO Energy, will also pass through Harworth and Bircotes, passing the museum and memorial to 1965 World Champion Tommy Simpson, who died 50 years ago this year while competing in the Tour de France.
Mansfield Mayor Kate Allsop said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to showcase Mansfield. The national eye will be looking at us.
“Everybody will have the chance to get involved and it will have a knock on effect across the town.
“It will be good for local businesses and Mansfield is famous for its contribution to national sport with people like Charlotte Henshaw and Rebecca Adlington, so this will show that off.”
“It will be uplifting and we’re expecting lots of people to come out and watch.”
Derek Higton, Nottinghamshire County Council service director for cultural services said: “This is a great coup for Nottinghamshire to host a full stage of the UK’s biggest free-to-attend sporting event for the first time.
“With a world-wide audience of millions and 1.6 million spectators expected over the eight-day race, all eyes will be on Nottinghamshire.
“We are delighted at the prospect of some of the biggest names in cycling coming to our county and hope it inspires more people to cycle, whether that be to get to work, help them keep fit, or just to get out to enjoy the great outdoors.
Mike Robinson, director of economic growth at Mansfield District Council, said: “Hosting the start of the Nottinghamshire stage is a huge event for Mansfield that will attract a large number of spectators not only here but across the world through live television and other media coverage.
“The last time we hosted an event of this scale was when thousands of people lined the route of the Olympic Torch Relay in June 2012.
“As well as hopefully inspiring our residents to cycle more, we hope the event will also help to generate more pride in the district through the public’s involvement.”