“This will be the most challenging Tour of Britain Yet”
says Race Director Mick Bennett.
Starting at Peebles in Scotland on Sunday 15th September, the first stage of 201km will probably be a day for the sprinters to make an early mark on the race. With most of the climbing being out of the way at the front end of the stage it should allow the teams to organise and get their fast men to the front to contest the finish.
Stage 2 – Monday 16th moves into the Lake District, at 225km the stage will be long (the longest stage in a Tour of Britain to date) from Carlisle to Kendal with plenty of ups and downs including the Honister Pass. It should be a stage that provides spectacular scenery and some superb racing terrain.
Stage 3 – Tuesday 17th is the Time Trial of the Race, an individual TT in the Knowsley area taking in the local Safari Park. At a distance of 16km (a standard 10 mile TT ride) it will provide a reasonable test for the riders.
Stage 4 – Wednesday 18th we see the race take the riders 191km from stoke on Trent in the Midlands into North Wales to finish at Llanberis next to Mount Snowdon. Again a stage that promises some great scenery and race conditions as it moves into and through the Snowdonia National Park area.
Stage 5 – Thursday 19th the race remains in Wales with a stage from Machnynlleth through the Brecon’s area to finish in Caerphilly taking in a double ascent of the steep Caerphillly Mountain twice just before the finish. At a distance of 177km we see the stages start to get progressively shorter each day as we move towards the race conclusion at the weekend.
Stage 6 – Friday 20th sees a move to the South West starting in Sidmouth passing through the lovely moorland area of Dartmoor National park for a climb to the finish at the top of Haytor, a stage of 137km.
Stage 7 – Saturday 21st and the penultimate stage of the race starts heading East towards London, starting in Epsom and through the undulating Surrey countryside for a cobbled finish at Guilford. This should be an exciting stage as the racers attempt to consolidate their positions ready for the next day’s London finale.
Stage 8 – Sunday 22nd September sees what should prove to be a fast and exciting conclusion to this year’s event. Speeding around the central London streets and along the Thames Embankment it should allow the race to finish as it started with a contest of the teams sprinters vying for the final stage honours.
With some top teams and riders expected to participate and with the route as planned it looks like British Cycling fans will have an excellent week of sport to look forward to.