The Department of Economic Development’s Tourism team has hailed the 'Cav factor' as the Isle of Man receives a huge boost in terms of media coverage and awareness as a result of the success of the Island’s cyclists in international competition.
The notable successes of Team Sky members Peter Kennaugh in the Team Pursuit World Championship, which took place earlier in the year in Australia, Onchan resident Ben Swift’s Gold Medal in the Scratch race in the same championships and current World Champion Mark Cavendish’s further Stage wins in this year’s Tour de France, are resulting in significant media coverage worldwide as the UK gears up for the Olympics.
The London Games are set to provide a further boost with Mark Cavendish featuring in the first event of the meeting, the Men’s Road Race, and Peter Kennaugh selected for the Team Pursuit event nine days later.
The Daily Mail’s respected sports journalist Alan Fraser was on the Isle of Man with Sports photographer Kevin Quigley last week exploring the Manx cycling phenomenon. As well as interviews with Mike Kelly and David Cavendish, the pair also visited the Junior Cycling League at the NSC run by Dot Tilbury. BBC Breakfast is also visiting the Isle of Man to capture the budding stars of the future.
A crew from LOCOG’s (London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games) ‘Join in Local Sport’ was also on the Island filming for the UK Government-funded website www.joininuk.org, which will go live during the Games.
Major American broadcaster NBC has already visited the Isle of Man and filmed the Colin Nelson Time Trial in June, with the coverage due to be aired on American Television to an expected audience of over 30 million viewers during the Olympic Road Race, while Sky Italia also filmed on the Island earlier in the month.
Additionally, BBC Radio 5 Live will be broadcasting live from the Isle of Man on Saturday to capture the post-race reactions of local residents.
Member for the Department of Economic Development responsible for Tourism, Mr Geoff Corkish MBE, MHK, said:
'The growing popularity and profile of cycling, coupled with the incredible success of our residents in international competition, presents us with a real opportunity to develop the Isle of Man as a great destination for cycling tourism and we will look to build on our efforts to encourage people to take part in our events and experience everything that the Island can offer cyclists.'