Cornwall's 2020 Tour of Britain route
The opening stage of the 2020 Tour of Britain has been announced, and it will take place in Cornwall.
Starting on Penzance promenade, it will wind its way by the wild west Penwith coastline into St Ives and then through Cornwall’s industrial heartland to Falmouth. Crossing the Duchy again it will arrive in Newquay before a trip to the iconic Eden Project and to the finish in Bodmin.
This is all taking place on Sunday 6th September when some of the world's finest cyclists will take on the undulating 170km route.
Our Guide to the Route (as far as we are aware)
Penzance Promenade: Cornwall’s only promenade will provide a stunning location to start the 2020 Tour of Britain. With a backdrop of Mount’s Bay, riders will start at the western end of the prom and head east before doubling back up to the A3071 and heading out into West Penwith.
Accommodation in Penzance
St Just: This former mining town in the far west will see the cyclists wind their way through rows of granite cottages, passing through the town square, before dropping steeply down into the Tregaseal valley before climbing up to the village of Botallack, famous for its cliff edge mining remains (as featured in Poldark).
Accommodation in St Just
The B3306 coast road: From Botallack to St Ives the route will follow perhaps the most dramatic section of the whole tour. With wild rugged moorland on one side of the road and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this undulating road offers fantastic viewing points for those with a sense of adventure. Parking places are at a premium, so forward planning is recommended.
St Ives: Plunging into St Ives down the Stennack valley, the route through the town is unclear but will undoubtedly be popular and tight!.
Accommodation in St Ives
Hayle and the Towans: Leaving St Ives the riders will follow the main road through Carbis Bay and Lelant, skirting the RSPB Hayle Estuary bird reserve (something to look at while you wait). Snaking through Hayle the route then heads out towards Gwithian Towans (Cornish word for sand dunes) before turning inland towards Cornwall’s industrial heartland.
Accommodation in Hayle
Camborne and Redruth: These two towns were the centre of Cornwall’s mining industry from the late 1700s to the 1990s. The route through them will see the riders pass by many of the remains, including the National Trust’s engine houses at East Pool. On leaving Redruth, riders will climb through open countryside along narrow Cornish lanes towards Falmouth. Like the stretch between St Just and St Ives, this area will need careful planning for spectators.
Accommodation in Redruth
Falmouth: Coming in from the west, Falmouth looks like it will offer several points where spectators will get two chances to see the riders without moving far. Hitting the coast at Swanpool beach, the route climbs steeply up Swanpool Hill and drops back down to Gyllyngvase beach before racing along the seafront and out around Pendennis Point. Heading out of town, the riders will follow the river through Penryn and onwards towards Truro.
Accommodation in Falmouth
Penryn to Truro: After climbing out of Penryn the route will follow the main A39 to Truro, with a small diversion past Perranwell Station. The road offers long steady climbs and descents and should be good for seeing the riders at full speed.
Truro: The exact route through Cornwall’s only city is unclear at the moment, but it is thought they will come right through the centre, over the cobbles. They will leave via the B3284, heading through farmland to join the main Newquay road at the Rejerrah dip, a real test for the king of the mountain!
Accommodation in Truro
Newquay: Entering the resort via the Gannel Estuary, the riders will race along the seafront, with its hotels and stunning views. Plenty of space for spectators and plenty to do before and after they pass through. Leaving Newquay the route heads back inland towards Cornwall’s Clay Country.
Accommodation in Newquay
Towards St Austell: The route uses the A3058 to recross Cornwall to St Austell. Passing on the way through Quintrell Downs, Summercourt, St Stephens and Trewoon. There should be plenty of places to view the riders as they shoot through on what should be fast sections.
St Austell and the Eden Project: It looks like the route will go right through the centre of the town that owes its prosperity to the extraction of China Clay in the surrounding countryside. Leaving via the east end of town the riders will climb to the Eden Project, where we expect them to do a circuit through the site, before heading north towards the A391 at Bugle, another of the clay villages.
Accommodation in St Austell
Bodmin: For the last leg of the day, the riders join the A389 through the village of Lanivet and onto Bodmin. Tired legs will climb up the hill into the town, known as Cornwall’s cycle hub. Spectators will be able to use the Camel Trail to access the town, or the Cornwall Way from the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House. The finish will be in the town centre (tbc)
Accommodation in Bodmin
Please class this as only a rough guide to the route based on basic route maps released by the organisers on December 2nd 2019. We will make amendments as we get them
Fans of cycling should start thinking about accommodation now as it’s going to be very busy!