Singing superstar launches official song for Isle of Wight stage of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain
Mike Christie, one quarter of superstar X-Factor finalists G4, and organiser of the popular Wight Proms series of concerts at Northwood House in Cowes, has launched the official song for the climatic final stage of the AJ Tour of Britain Cycle race, heading to the Isle of Wight on Sunday September 11.
Titled ‘Ride The Isle’, the song is a celebration of the nearly 150km, fast paced race between Ryde and the Needles Battery.
A multi-award winning singer/songwriter, Mike Christie now lives on the Island and says he was approached to write the anthem by Visit Isle of Wight:
‘I was asked by Visit Isle of Wight to write this, as the official song for the Tour of Britain cycling race, to help bring awareness to the race and showcase it to a new audience.
‘I had recently released a song I wrote for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee called ‘The Heartbeat of Our Nation’, which I performed in various places across the island over the bank holiday weekend in June, so I’ve now got a reputation for writing songs for occasions shall we say!’
AJ Bell Tour of Britain organisers say that the song is a first for the cycle race – Peter Hodges is the PR and Marketing Director with tour organisers Sweetspot:
‘It is definitely the first time that the modern Tour of Britain has enjoyed an official song and music video for one of our stages, which goes to show the lengths to which the whole community on the Isle of Wight is embracing the event. It is fantastic to have someone like Mike writing and performing the song, and we are now looking forward to hearing it in person in Ryde before the final stage gets underway!’
Mike Christie explains how ‘Ride The Isle’ came together:
‘I started by researching the Tour of Britain race; what it consists of, who and how many take part, as well as the specific route on the Isle of Wight amongst other things. I wanted the song to be informative, as many people coming across it won’t know what the race is all about, as I didn’t. But when people hear their hometown in the lyrics, it may well inspire them to follow the riders as they whizz past their doorstep at high speed on 11th September!
‘I was also aware that there will be riders and cycling experts listening to the song, so everything needed to be 100% accurate, but beyond that I wanted it to really resonate with them. To my knowledge, there has never been a song like this released before, certainly not one listing the names of the jerseys that are awarded to the cyclists, and what they signify.’
Mike explains why he felt it was important to have a song representing the Isle of Wight’s part in the iconic AJ Bell Tour of Britain cycle race:
‘Music is the one thing that binds us all together and crosses language barriers, and is synonymous with all sporting events, be it singing the national anthem, or music playing during the live or highlighted coverage of events. The Tour of Britain has never before been on the Isle of Wight, so this race will certainly put the Isle of Wight on the cycling map, and what better way to celebrate this, than with a song!’
The video was filmed by Michael Dangerfield of Wight Productions at the Needles, the finishing post of the day’s racing, and will mark the end of 8 days of cycling , which sees 18 teams make their way from Aberdeenshire to Island, via the Scottish Borders, Sunderland, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset.
Mike Christie says that the Isle of Wight holds a special place in his heart:
‘I totally fell in love with the Island, and that’s why I ended up moving here 12 years ago, making it my home.’
Mike adds that he will be watching the race, but performing the song on the day might prove an interesting challenge:
‘I will definitely be watching the race! I’ve learned so much about the Tour of Britain when researching for the song, which I’ve found so inspiring. To think we’ll have over 100 of the world’s top cyclists competing in this race, including Olympians, world champions and Tour de France winners across the Isle of Wight is going to be an utterly thrilling experience for all of us watching.
‘I’ve been asked to perform the song at the opening ceremony of the race in Ryde before the start, known as ‘kilometer zero’. The tricky thing is I’m away on tour for the whole of September with my band G4, so I’m still in the throes of working out the logistics of getting to Ryde then up to Ayr in Scotland in time that evening, so watch this space!’