Route of this September’s edition of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race revealed
- First ever Grand Depart for Wales, with Anglesey to host the start
- First visit for the modern Tour to Edinburgh
- Return of race to Lancashire, Northumberland and East Anglia
- Hartside Fell in Cumbria to host race’s summit finish on Stage Five
- Iconic new London route to include Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus
The 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain has been officially launched in London this evening [Tuesday 17 March], with a route that includes the race’s toughest ever summit finish, a revamped final stage in the heart of London and a first ever Grand Depart for Wales.Other firsts for British Cycling’s premier road cycling event include a stage start in the Scottish capital Edinburgh and two stages taking in Northumberland and the north east of England.Having welcomed the Friends Life Tour of Britain annually since 2010, Wales will play host to the opening stage for the first time in the modern race’s history, with a stage which will take in all six regions of North Wales as it heads from Anglesey to Wrexham. It will also be the first time that the race has started on an island.
Stage Two sees the race return to the heart of Lancashire for the first time since 2010, with Ribble ValleyandPendle playing host to a stagefromClitheroetoColne, which will pass through the ForestofBowlandandDunsop Bridge, the geographic centre of the United Kingdon.Cockermouth in Cumbria will be the start venue for the first of two stages to include Scotland, with Stage Three heading through Carlisle, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders to the finish in the grounds of Floors Castle at Kelso.A second Scottish stage will begin from Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, showcasing some of the city’s iconic landscapes before heading through the Borders and Northumberland to the finish on the coast in Blyth.Stage Five will trace Hadrian’s Wall from Prudhoe in Northumberland into Cumbria and the Lake District before finishingatopHartside Fell in the Pennines. At five-miles long and 1,904-feet high, the climbwillprovide the highest and toughest summit finish in the modern Tour of Britain’s history.Friday 11 September’s stage will join two English cities with the peloton racing from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, the latter returning to the route for the first time since 2012.The penultimate stage will be the longest of the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain at 225-kilometres, headingfromFakenham in Norfolk to Ipswich in Suffolk, beforethefinal stage in the centre of London.The London stage presented by Transport for London will feature an entirely new route in 2015, starting and finishing on Regent Street St James and providing an iconic backdrop for Britain’s biggest professional cycle race which will take in Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Strand and Whitehall.In total eleven venues will welcome the modern Friends Life Tour of Britain for the first time in 2015.
Commenting on this year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain route, Mick Bennett, Race Director, said;
“Overall we are absolutely delighted with the course for the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain and believe it offers something for everybody across eight very different stages.
“Our hope and intention is to again encourage eight days of aggressive, uninhibited racing, the sort of action that we hope is becoming the trademark of the race. We want our national Tour to reflect the tough terrain which is part and parcel of our cycling scene in the UK, and to showcase both the race and the British countryside to spectators at the roadside and to the television audience both at home and around the world.”
Commenting on the announcement, Bob Howden, President of British Cycling said;
“At British Cycling, we measure the success of our major events strategy by the number of people who watch and are then inspired to participate in our sport and, as our national stage race and the biggest event of the year, the growing popularity of the Friends Life Tour of Britain is further proof that in this country cycling has never been in better health.
“This year’s route will excite any fan of cycling and further boosts the Friends Life Tour of Britain’s reputation as one of world cycling’s must-watch races, but it will also give people all over Britain a chance to see some of the world’s best riders in action and encourage them to get out on their bikes.”
Commenting on the brand new route for the London Stage presented by Transport for London, Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome back Britain’s biggest professional cycle race to the streets of the London. With a revamped route touching new areas of the city, I’ve no doubt that this year’s race will inspire a new breed of cyclists, who will soon be able to make use of our new and upgraded cycling infrastructure, including segregated Cycle Superhighways.”
Once again ITV will screen three-hours of live coverage of every stage, starting on ITV for the opening Wales stage before reverting to ITV4 for Stages Two to Eight. ITV4 will also screen a one-hour highlights programme each evening during the race.
UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification while ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and the King of the Mountains sponsors and Chain Reaction Cycles extend and expand their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification.
New partners Premier Inn will partner a trophy for the Best British Rider, alongside their similar award in the Friends Life Women’s Tour, while Italian tyre manufacturer Vittoria have been appointed the Official Tyre & Wheel Partner, providing neutral service via their Servizio Corse brand.
The Friends Life Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.
The Friends Life Tour of Britain
Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, the Friends Life Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep. The Friends Life Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event.
Upgraded to 2.HC level by the UCI, the sport’s governing body, for 2014, the Friends Life Tour of Britain attracts the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners, to compete on British roads each September, with three-hours of live coverage a day on ITV4.
For details of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, go to www.tourofbritain.co.uk
Jon Mould and Team Raleigh both made it two wins from two in Week Three of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series, as the unique, team based Series made its first appearance in Edinburgh.
Mould took another dominant solo victory, ahead of Tom Scully and Kristian House, while Team Raleigh did enough with three riders in the top eight to take their second team victory of the 2014 Series.
The Nottingham team narrowly beat Madison Genesis, who had three riders in the top eleven, including second placed Scully, while Rapha Condor JLT came third to have their lead narrowed to eight points ahead of next Tuesday’s Redditch event.
On the tough 1.3-kilometre course, featuring a long cobbled climb through the Grassmarket and up Victoria Street, before a fast descent back to the Grassmarket the field soon split up.
After 15-minutes of racing and the opening Sprint a group of five riders found themselves clear, including Mould, Scully and House, plus Marcin Bialoblocki and Matthieu Boulo. With all five representing different teams there was little by way of an organised chase behind, and instead a second group formed containing the all-important second and third riders from each team.
House and Boulo both made attempts to get clear, but at the final Sprint it was Mould powering clear, with House and Scully in pursuit. Once away though the NFTO Pro Cycling rider wasn’t seen again, keeping a steady lead over his pursuers to add victory in Edinburgh to that of Durham earlier in the week and Stoke-on-Trent at Round One.
Scully then pipped House, with Boulo and Bialoblocki both crossing the line alone, before Graham Briggs lead in the pack for sixth. Behind the Rapha Condor JLT man though came Morgan Kniesky (seventh) and Evan Oiphant (eighth), making Yanto Barker’s tenth unneeded for Raleigh to claim their fifth ever Pearl Izumi Tour Series team win.
NFTO took fifth in the teams but again dominated the individual prizes, with Mould add the Sprint win on the night and retention of the Sprints jersey to his individual win.
The win for Mould also means he becomes only the second rider in Pearl Izumi Tour Series history to take three individual wins in a season, following on from Ed Clancy’s hat trick in 2013.
Consolation for Scully was another Costa Express Fastest Lap prize and his Madison Genesis team edging closer to leaders Rapha Condor JLT.
Highlights of the Edinburgh race will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat at 6am on Saturday 31st May.
Round Seven of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series takes place in Redditch on Tuesday 3 June, the third visit for the team based Series to the Worcestershire venue, backed by the Choose How You Move project.
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series
Thursday 29 May 2014, Edinburgh
Round Six Team Result
1) Team Raleigh
2) Madison Genesis
3) Rapha Condor JLT
4) Node4 Velosure
5) NFTO Pro Cycling
6) Pedal Heaven Colbornes
7) Starley Primal Pro Cycling
8) Metaltek Kuota
9) Great Britain
Round Six Individual Result
1) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling
2) Tom Scully, NZL, Madison Genesis
3) Kristain House, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
4) Marcin Bialoblocki, POL, Node4 Velosure
5) Matthieu Boulo, FRA, Team Raleigh
6) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT
7) Morgan Kniesky, FRA, Team Raleigh
8) Evan Oliphant, GBR, Team Raleigh
9) Ian Bibby, GBR, Madison Genesis
10) Yanto Barker, GBR, Team Raleigh
Round Six Costa Express Fastest Lap: Tom Scully, NZL, Madison Genesis, 1’45.819
Round Six Sprint Winner: Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling
Overall Team Standings, post-Round Six
1) Rapha Condor JLT, 72pts
2) Madison Genesis, 64pts
3) Team Raleigh, 59pts
4) NFTO Pro Cycling, 54pts
5) Node4 Velosure, 41pts
6) Metaltek Kuota, 32pts
7) Great Britain, 29pts
8) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 26pts
9) Pedal Heaven Colbornes, 22pts
Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Six
1) Jon Mould, GBR, NFTO Pro Cycling, 56pts
2) Graham Briggs, GBR, Rapha Condor JLT, 41pts
3) Tom Scully, NZL, Madison Genesis, 31pts
Second win for Katie Archibald on home roads in Scotland
Following the trend of recent rounds, Scottish riders dominated the first ever Scottish round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series in Edinburgh, with Katie Archibald taking another dominant victory on the cobbled streets.
Archibald attacked out of a front group of five riders to go clear on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket circuit to take her second victory from three rounds of the Matrix Fitness GP Series. Behind fifth place was enough for Fife’s Eileen Roe to keep the Series lead, ten points ahead of Dumfermline’s Charline Joiner in second overall.
Victory moves Archibald up to third overall, making it a Scottish 1-2-3 after three of the five rounds.
Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International rider Archibald also takes the lead in the Sprints competition from Louise Mahe, having won both of the intermediate Sprints in Edinburgh.
Behind Archibald came former Series Champion Helen Wyman who also broke away in pursuit of the leader, and Edinburgh’s Claire Thomas, who rounded out the podium in third.
With two rounds to go, in Redditch on Tuesday (3rd June) and Woking (10th June) it looks set to be a three way battle between Roe, Joiner and Archibald, with the latter two both riding for leading team Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International.
Highlights of the race will be shown during The Pearl Izumi Tour Series highlights on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat at 6am on Saturday 31st May.
Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series
Thursday 29 May 2014
Round Three, Edinburgh
1) Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
2) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
3) Claire Thomas, GBR, Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa
4) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
5) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
6) Hannah Walker, GBR, Epic Cycles – Scott WRT
7) Natalie Creswick, GBR, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport
8) Jessie Walker, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
9) Tamiko Butler, GBR, WyndyMilla Reynolds
10) Annasley Park, GBR, RST Racing Team
11) Louise Borthwick, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine
12) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling
13) Rebecca Wormersley, GBR, WyndyMilla Reynolds
14) Gabriella Shaw, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
15) Lauren Creamer, IRL, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
16) Brit Tate, GBR, GBCycles.co.uk
17) Hannah Payton, GBR, WyndyMilla Reynolds
18) Eve Dixon, GBR, Team 22
19) Mary Costelloe, IRL, WyndyMilla Reynolds
20) Rhona Callander, GBR, Stirling Bike Club
Round Three Sprint Winner: Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
Round Three Team Winner: Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International
Overall Individual Standings, post-Round Three
1) Eileen Roe, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 55pts
2) Charline Joiner, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 45pts
3) Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 40pts
4) Hannah Walker, GBR, Epic Cycles – Scott WRT, 39pts
5) Natalie Creswick, GBR, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, 37pts
6) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 35pts
7) Jessie Walker, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 28pts
8) Claire Thomas, GBR, Velosport – Pasta Montegrappa, 27pts
9) Gabriella Shaw, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 27pts
10) Katie Curtis, GBR, Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 26pts
Overall Sprint Standings, post-Round Three
1) Katie Archibald, GBR, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 20pts
2) Helen Wyman, GBR, Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 12pts
3) Louise Mahe, GBR, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, 12pts
Overall Team Standings, post-Round Three
1) Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, 142pts
2) Matrix Fitness – Vulpine, 120pts
3) Starley Primal Pro Cycling, 81pts
4) Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, 63pts
5) Epic Cycles – Scott WRT, 42pts
6) WyndyMilla – Reynolds, 26pts
7) RST Racing Team, 16pts
8) GBCycles.co.uk, 5pts
Challenge yourself and raise awareness of a great charity… hurry places are limited!
Cycle Edinburgh to Richmond in Aid of Missing People
You’ve always wondered what it really feels like to be a pro rider with support vehicles and entourage? Well here’s your chance to live the dream, drama and inevitable pain. Push yourself to the max and raise awareness for a great charity and touch someone else’s life. Cycling Shorts are throwing their support behind the ride and would be very proud if some of you lovely people got involved. We would of course promote you fundraising and help in any way we can!
The charity Missing People is inviting participants to sign up to its first Cycle Challenge, a professional-level boutique five day ride from Edinburgh to Richmond, to help provide a lifeline for missing people in the UK and anyone left behind, starting on 16 June 2012.
The route is designed to put experienced riders through their paces, with a pro-level experience including a support car, quality accommodation and food supplies, to fuel the journey through Newcastle, York, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.
Eurosport commentator and sport promoter David Harmon has endorsed the event, in recognition of the exciting challenge it offers for participants, as well as the importance of the cause.
David said: “Every mile these riders get under their wheels exposes passers-by to a massively important charity and its vitally important work to help missing people, their families and their loved ones.
Having specialised in distance riding myself I know how tough this ride is going to be. From the hills and climbs of the first 2 days to the windswept middle section, it’s going to be a huge personal challenge…”Chapeau!” as they say in cycling”.
The Cycle Challenge also represents the ‘premier event’ of the summer for Missing People’s partner Ride2Raise, as it contributes logistical expertise and promotes the challenge throughout the cycling community.
Richard King, Managing Director at Ride2Raise commented: “Although very beautiful, the first two stages’ long journey between Edinburgh and York will be tough. The riders will really be put through the mill, but it is great that we can support them so closely to make this event a huge success.”
“The riders will have a support car, food and quality accommodation as they physically test themselves with this remarkable fundraising endeavour.”
Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Missing People said: “If someone you loved went missing wouldn’t you want the world to stop and look for them? The charity Missing People is building a dedicated community of people across the country ready to join the search when the worst happens.
This new cycle event will be memorable for the scenery, the professional support and the incredible physical challenge, but will also help the charity to raise awareness of vulnerable missing adults and children, and support many families left behind.”