2004 Stage 1, 207km man­ches­ter > man­ches­ter

Cycling Weekly - - TOUR OF BRITAIN -

3 The mod­ern Tour of Bri­tain’s re­vival jour­neyed from an idea to an event in just four months to give Bri­tain a first na­tional tour in five years. The race started at Man­ches­ter City Foot­ball Club’s sta­dium, fin­ish­ing in the city cen­tre with a sprint won by Ital­ian Ste­fano Zanini, de­spite com­plain­ing that there was too much con­ges­tion from pub­lic ve­hi­cles on the road.

“We had four months to de­liver the race, and we were work­ing on it seven days a week,” Ben­nett re­calls. “At that time we had no cen­tral es­cort po­lice and once we left a re­gion we had to change forces, which is very dif­fer­ent to the sit­u­a­tion nowa­days. I went grey in those four months and thank God it was only a five-day stage race!” What they said... Eurosport hailed the race on “its tri­umphant re­turn”, say­ing: “A heavy dose of fans lined the road­sides, prov­ing foot­ball-fren­zied Eng­land can also muster strong sup­port for cy­cling.”

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