Get creative to celebrate Tour of Britain with competitive land art

This story was published 17 June 2022

As North Yorkshire prepares to host a stage of the Tour of Britain 2022 cycle race, community groups, schools, businesses and landowners along the route are being encouraged to take part in a land art competition.

A bike and the words Ey Up made out of hay bails

The organisers of the national event, SweetSpot, are inviting entries along the entire route of the eight stages of the race, which will take place between Sunday, September 4, and Sunday, September 11.

The race will visit North Yorkshire for stage four on Wednesday, September 7, returning to the county for the first time in 13 years.

That day’s racing will begin in Redcar then run through Whitby before heading into the North York Moors National Park. The final 30 kilometres will feature the demanding climbs of Carlton Bank and Newgate Bank – both two kilometres long – before descending into the finish at Duncombe Park at Helmsley.

The tradition of creating land art along the route has long been the practice at the Tour of Britain, as well as other cycle races around the world. The Tour of Britain has organised a competition to select the best piece of artwork at every edition since 2018.

In North Yorkshire, the practice has been embraced during previous major cycling events in the county, from the Tour de France Grand Départ to the UCI Road World Championships.

Executive member for growth and culture, leisure, sport and housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “North Yorkshire folk are renowned for their enthusiasm in embracing cycling events in the county. Land art is a wonderful visual way of welcoming the Tour of Britain, as well as a way of bringing schools and communities together to enjoy fun-filled, creative time. I’m sure people will rise to the challenge to show what North Yorkshire can do as we look forward to this major free sporting event.”

Council leader Cllr Carl Les added: “We are delighted to once again host a major competitive cycling to North Yorkshire. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase parts of our beautiful county, including the coast and moors, to a national and international television audience, as well as the many visitors and residents who will no doubt line the route.

“We will work closely with our partners and, with experience of major races over the best part of a decade, will play our part in ensuring the event runs smoothly to guarantee maximum enjoyment and minimum disruption to everyday life.”

Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “The land art competition always brings out the creativity in the communities that we pass through. The entries never cease to bring a smile to our faces, and I am sure that of viewers around the world watching on TV. Over the past three editions we have had some wonderful entries to the competition and I am sure that the standard will be equally high this year.”

The winning entry will be decided after the race by a panel comprising Mr Bennett, members of the ITV4 broadcast team and staff from SweetSpot. The winners will be presented with a trophy, and two runners-up will also be announced.

Full details of the competition are on the race website.

The 2022 race starts in Aberdeen city centre and finishes eight days later on the Isle of Wight. Along the way, riders will tackle stages in the Scottish Borders, North-East England, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset.

The route:

  • Stage one - Sunday 4 September - Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre
  • Stage two - Monday 5 September - Hawick to Duns
  • Stage three - Tuesday 6 September - Durham to Sunderland
  • Stage four - Wednesday 7 September - Redcar to Duncombe Park, Helmsley
  • Stage five - Thursday 8 September - West Bridgford to Mansfield
  • Stage six - Friday 9 September - Tewkesbury to Gloucester
  • Stage seven - Saturday 10 September - West Bay to Ferndown
  • Stage eight -  Sunday 11 September - Ryde to The Needles

ITV4 will broadcast live flag-to-flag coverage of every stage and a nightly highlights show, allowing fans in the UK to watch wherever they are. The race will also be shown in more than 150 countries worldwide, thanks to the event's partnerships with Eurosport and the Global Cycling Network.