Tour of Britain 2012

Tom Murray, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke & Dan Craven – Image © markghopkins.co.uk

The 2012 road season is heading for its close and with it comes the Tour of Britain, you will struggle to miss it this year too after all the publicity from the Tour de France and Olympics the Tour of Britain is set to be a big success this year. The streets, towns and fields will be awash with fans new and old drawn to the event by big names and unrivalled access. Now with cycling’s new fame and popularity you won’t even be able to hide from it putting your head in a newspaper, the media will  be full of updates from the race as everyone looks for a British winner come the final dash up through Guildford.

Personally I’ve been lucky enough to ride the Tour of Britain three times in my time as a professional rider in the UK. As a young kid I used to stand on the slopes of Holme Moss just outside of Huddersfield and watch in awe as the riders passed by on their way over to a finish in Sheffield, I never dare dreamt of riding in the race then, to have three finishes on my CV seems a bit crazy looking back. Each time was a different experience, some positive some not so positive but overall I’ve enjoyed all three and am proud to have ridden the race.

The highlight for me was spending a day out front in a two man break on stage 7 of the 2010 edition, to spend a whole day out front in front of the British crowd, clocking up the king of the mountains prizes was pretty special. It was a massive day not just for me but it was the first participation in the Tour of Britain for my team (Team Sigmasport) and everyone involved in Sigmasport as a company too. When the stage finished it had been a defining point of both my career and that of everyone involved in the team from staff to sponsors, it was a great feeling to be part of that. Since then plenty has happened and this season in particular has seen some ups and downs, but to always have that day in the Tour of Britain to my name is a pretty good feeling.

Tom Murray Tour of Britain – Stage 7 – 2010 – © Mike Morley

The 2012 edition will see others riders clock up their day in the limelight, maybe define their careers or maybe their step onto a bigger stage. For some riders it may be the biggest event they ever compete in, for others it may be a relatively small week out, but that’s part of the races beauty, riders of different experience and reputation mix and become equal for one week. The guys that define their careers may not be the ones at the top of the result sheets at the race finish. They might not be your Olympic hero’s or World Tour stars, everyone has the chance to write some headlines, I didn’t think I’d be grabbing any in 2010! This Tour of Britain as ever looks even more difficult than the year before; the organisers seem to have a good talent for hunting out some of the most challenging terrain out there. Having raced up Caerphilly Mountain once in the 2011 race, heading over twice will really test those at the business end of the race and could really cause some race defining splits; it will certainly be a day that the classification hopefuls will have to be aware. The stage in and around Stoke always provides a hard days racing, with not just climbs but often exposed sections over the top of the climbs to contend with and heading through the challenging countryside around Dumfries could possibly see the race split to pieces. If the weather of the past few years in this area pays a visit again it could be the hardest day of the race.

Possibly alongside Caerphilly Mountain the defining stage for the Overall Classification though is most likely to be stage 7 over Dartmoor. The area is defined by short but incredibly steep climbs, from my own past experience; although the stage in this area has not yet defined the classification it has the potential to do so. Previous years have always allowed groups to reform before the finish after lengthy changes, maybe this year that won’t be the case.

Whatever happens in the 2012 edition though, the Tour of Britain is already guaranteed to be a success. The next generation of riders will be standing on a hillside somewhere watching the race come by much like I did. Maybe they will form part of the Tour’s peloton a few years down the line, maybe even write themselves some headlines along the way.

Keep an eye out on Cycling Shorts for more on the 2012 Tour of Britain.
 
 
 

Tour of Britain 2011 – Stage 6 – Taunton to Wells Image Gallery

 

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The Tour of Britain 2011
Stage 6 Summary
Taunton to Wells 16 Sep 2011

** Indicates Under 23 riders
 

Stage

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Alexandre Pichot (Team Europcar)
  3. Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp)

Overall

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp)
  3. Daniel Lloyd (Team Garmin – Cervelo)

Points

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Geraint Thomas (Sky ProCycling)
  3. Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)

Mountains

  1. Jonathan Tiernan Locke (Rapha Condor – Sharp)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Stephen Cummings (Sky ProCycling)

Sprints

  1. Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post – Sean Kelly)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Lars Boom (Rabobank)

 

Written & edited by Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper

 

If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.

 
 
 
 

Tour of Britain 2011 – Stage 5 – Exeter to Exmouth Image Gallery

 

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I decided to take a few days off work to go and watch and shoot some photos of the Tour of Britain stage 5 and 6. I decided not to go to start or finish as it’s not so easy to get backwards and forwards from one location to another without get stuck in the tour traffic. I hope you enjoy them!

Paul.

 
The Tour of Britain 2011
Stage 5 Summary
Exeter to Exmouth 15 Sep 2011

** Indicates Under 23 riders
 

Stage

  1. Mark Renshaw (HTC Highroad)
  2. Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)
  3. Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare)

Overall

  1. Lars Boom (Rabobank)
  2. Geraint Thomas (Sky ProCycling)
  3. Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare)

Points

  1. Geraint Thomas (Sky ProCycling)
  2. Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)
  3. Lars Boom (Rabobank)

Mountains

  1. Jonathan Tiernan Locke (Rapha Condor – Sharp)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Stephen Cummings (Sky ProCycling)

Sprints

  1. Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post – Sean Kelly)
  2. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
  3. Andrew Fenn** (An Post – Sean Kelly)

 

Written by Paul Sloper & Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper

 

If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.

 
 
 
 

Twinings ProAm

 

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The First Of Many?… Lets hope so!

Sunday 28/08/11 saw the first of a new pro cycle event in Wilton just on the outskirts of Salisbury, Wiltshire, this event was a sponsored event by Twinings Tea. The course was a testing circuit involving four big loops and six smaller loops giving a total of 101 miles, as a local cyclists the route was quite testing for the pro riders as they had to conquer Fovant Hill four times, this hill used to be used by the local Salisbury Road Club for there annual hill climb championships. The course went down a variety of A and B roads which I think would add to the challenge of the circuit and seemed to be proven in the results as there weren’t many that finished out of the 100 starters. There were crowds of people out on the course not as many as we would like but for a first time event it wasn’t too bad. In my opinion the organisation for parking and advance notice of the event could have been better publicised and after speaking to organisers this would be something they intend to have sorted out  for next time. The event seemed from a spectators point of view to pass without too many incidents after a few hours of racing and various attacks Simon Yates (100 per cent Me) came home the victor with Richard Handley and Matt Cronshaw from Raleigh 2nd & 3rd. A good start for what looks like a great new addition to the cycling calendar.

 

  1. Simon Yates (100 Per Cent ME) 3:52:02
  2. Richard Handley (Team Raleigh) +1sec
  3. Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh) +12sec
  4. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport) +12sec
  5. Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) +13sec
  6. Mark Christian (100 Per Cent ME) +13sec
  7. Dan Craven (Rapha Condor-Sharp) +13sec
  8. Luke Rowe (100 Per Cent ME) +1:11

 

Written by Paul Sloper, Edited by Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper

 

If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.

 
 
 
 

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