The route for the 2016 edition of the Tour of Britain, British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, has been launched in Bristol this evening [Thursday 25 February] featuring an overall start in Glasgow and finale in the centre of London plus three stages in the South West of England, including a return to the summit finish of Haytor on Dartmoor, and a challenging individual time trial and circuit race split stage in the heart of Bristol on the penultimate day.
Having last welcomed the Tour of Britain in 2008, Glasgow will host the Grand Depart of the opening stage on Sunday 4 September, building on the success of hosting the Commonwealth Games and British National Road Race Championships in recent years.
The opening stage will finish in Dumfries and Galloway’s Castle Douglas, last visited by the Tour of Britain in 2006, before the second stage takes place in Cumbria and the Lake District between Carlisle and Kendal, including the iconic climbs of Whinlatter Pass and The Struggle, before the uphill finish on Beast Banks.
The third stage of the Tour of Britain will feature a first visit to Cheshire East with a stage from Congleton to Tatton Park outside Knutsford, which will feature a spectator friendly loop giving fans at the finish the chance to see the race twice. The stage will also tackle the iconic 10-kilometre climb of the Cat and Fiddle in Cheshire’s Peak District.
Denbighshire will host its first stage start as Stage Four begins in Denbigh, heading south through Mid-Wales before Powys hosts a first stage finish, on the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells.
Stage Five begins in Wales in Rhondda Cynon Taf at Aberdare, heading across South Wales and through the Forest of Dean into Gloucestershire before the finish in Bath, a first for the city.
This will begin three days of racing in the South West after a one-year absence for the area from the Tour of Britain route that will see the world’s top teams head to Devon for a repeat of the 2013 summit finish at Haytor in the Dartmoor National Park.
Bristol will host the penultimate stage of the race, which will be a split stage with riders contesting an 15-kilometre individual time trial in the morning before a 5-lap circuit race in the afternoon. Both stages will take place entirely on a proposed 15.3-kilometre circuit finishing atop the Bristol Downs. The 600-metre SKODA King of the Mountains climb of Bridge Valley Road, which averages 9%, will feature in the final kilometres of a both stages.
London will again host the final stage, presented by Transport for London, on Sunday 11 September, which will use the same circuit as in 2015, focused on Regent Street, the Heart of London and the Northbank, with a repeat of the finish on Regent Street St James just below Piccadilly Circus.
Commenting on the route announcement, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said;
“We are confident that this year’s route for the Tour of Britain will provide the opportunity for eight exciting days of racing and a multitude of opportunities for riders and teams to be aggressive and make the race. We believe that with the combination of longer stages of over 200-kilometres, the tough circuit and time trial in Bristol and the summit finish at Haytor we have not just a great preparation for the World Championships but also a fantastic race that will showcase the British countryside and stands alone in its own right as a race riders will want to win.”
“The route includes major cities such as Glasgow, Bristol, Bath and London, and visits each of Scotland, England and Wales, while at the same time touching many smaller communities and areas where we know the passion and support for cycling is so great.”
Jonny Clay, British Cycling director of cycle sport and membership, said:
“We are proud to announce the 2016 route for Britain’s national tour. Every year the Tour of Britain offers a chance for the public to see some of the world’s best road riders racing through their local area. Last year’s race had a bit of everything; fast flat sections, rolling roads and a great hill top finish which led to exciting racing for the competitors and fans alike. .This year’s route has all the same ingredients, so promises to be a great event.”
Chain Reaction Cycles continue their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, won in 2015 by Team WIGGIN’s Owain Doull, while UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the daily intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification, which Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling won last September.
ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and sponsors of the King of the Mountains jersey, also won by Williams in 2015.
For the fifth successive year fans can look forward to enjoying daily live coverage of all eight stages on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.
Commenting on the 2016 event, Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot said; “This year’s Tour of Britain features a fantastic combination of major cities like Glasgow, Bristol and London, smaller communities across Scotland, England and Wales and the stunning scenery and testing climbs of the Lake District and Dartmoor. With hundreds of thousands of fans at the roadside and millions more watching via live television in the UK and around the world, the 2016 Tour of Britain is a fantastic showcase for the brands involved in the event.
“We thank our jersey partners Chain Reaction Cycles, SKODA and Yodel and all our other Official Partners and Suppliers for their continued support.”
The 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.
|Stage One||Sunday 4 September||Glasgow to Castle Douglas||168km|
|Stage Two||Monday 5 September||Carlisle to Kendal||195km|
|Stage Three||Tuesday 6 September||Congleton to Tatton Park, Knutsford||182km|
|Stage Four||Wednesday 7 September||Denbigh to Builth Wells||217km|
|Stage Five||Thursday 8 September||Aberdare to Bath||205km|
|Stage Six||Friday 9 September||Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor||150km|
|Stage Seven a||Saturday 10 September||Bristol Stage Individual Time Trial||15km|
|Stage Seven b||Saturday 10 September||Bristol Stage Circuit Race||76.5km|
|Stage Eight||Sunday 11 September||London Stage presented by TfL||100km|
Stage map downloads
About the Tour of Britain
Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, the 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 Tour of Britain is the UK’s highest ranked professional stage race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event, organised annually by SweetSpot Group.
Ranked at the 2.HC level by the UCI, the 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.
The 2016 Tour of Britain takes place from Sunday 4 to Sunday 11 September.
Images ©CyclingShorts.cc/ wwwchrismaher.co.uk
Czech National champion Petr Vakoc produced the ride of his life to hold off the peloton after a thrilling solo attack into Colne to take Stage Two of the Aviva Tour of Britain.
The economics student measured his effort well on the Pendle roads to take victory on Colne’s High Street by seven-seconds from Juan Jose Lobato, with former race winner Edvald Boasson Hagen a further two seconds back in third, as the finishing drag took its toll on the 45-rider chasing group.
Vakoc was well rewarded for his monumental effort, taking over the leader’s Aviva Yellow Jersey and earning a rapturous reception from the Colne locals who have a soft spot for individuals who don’t quit no matter how tough the going gets. This is after all the birthplace of Wallace Hartley, the leader of the band who famously ‘played on’ when the Titanic sank.
Just 23 and a fast emerging talent, plus a Gold medallist at the World Student Games, Vakoc took off with about 16-kilometres to go when an eight man break started to run out of steam and disintegrate on the rolling Lancashire roads.
The peloton gave chase with Lotto Soudal trying to manufacture a sprint opportunity for Andre Greipel but on tough and sometimes narrow roads they struggled to get on terms. Vakoc never seemed to pull ahead decisively but nor did the bunch every quite get on terms. It was classic hare and hound stuff and this time the hare won.
As he came into Colne, about 15 seconds to the good, the only thing that could derail the Czech Road Race Champion was a gruelling final kilometre drag but although you could see the pain and effort he seemed to get strong as he negotiated the ascent to win in style.
Juan Jose Lobato of Movistar chased him home seven second back with Edvald Boasson Hagen a further two seconds adrift, with the same order at the top of the Aviva General Classification.
Lobato’s second placed moved him into the lead of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points competition while Owain Doull of Team WIGGINS again rode well to take seventh place on the road and the Premier Inn Best British Rider lead.
Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc caught up with Petr Vakoc after taking the yellow jersey on stage 2 of the Aviva Tour of Britain 2015.
“It is a beautiful day and a big success for me, probably the biggest win of my career,” said Vakoc. “I didn’t really expect a ride like this morning but I woke up with good sensations. Normally I am not so good when there is a very hard start to a stage but today I felt good.
“Our tactics were to get in a break as it didn’t seem like it was going to be a sprint day. I managed to get in the eight main eight man break with 50-kilometres to go and we worked quite well but we weren’t going fast enough and the bunch was catching us so I tried my luck.
“I thought somebody would come with me but the next moment I was alone. There was a long way to go but I felt good and decided to press hard. It was a tough finish but that suited me well. I kept a little back and in the final 500m I imagined I was in a bunch sprit and rode like that. I was very tired at the end but it was worth it.”
Vakoc has suspended his studies for an Economics degree because his professional racing career has taken off so dramatically recently and he decided it was too much to combine the two.
His form this year had been impressive with a win in the Czech National Championships and a Bronze medal in the in the inaugural European Games road race, then recently overall victory in his national Tour. Last year, his first with Etixx Quick-Step, he recorded a stage win at the Tour of Poland and took time off from the professional peloton to win both the Road Race and Time Trial at the World University Championships at Jelenia Gora, also in Poland.
In the YodelDirect Sprint competition Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling Cycling reaped the benefit of aggressively getting in the early break and securing enough points to move one ahead of Pim Ligthart with erstwhile leader Conor Dunne a further point back.
It was the second day that Williams, who lives locally at Skipton and trains on the roads of the Ribble Valley and Pendle, animated the early break, at one point gaining over four minutes and briefly being joined at the head of the race by Alex Dowsett. For his efforts Williams, who won the YodelDirect Sprints Jersey in 2012, was also rewarded with the day’s Rouleur Combativity Award.
“I know the road and went out on the course last week and it’s a bit of an advantage,” said Williams afterwards. “You know where the tricky bits and dodgy corners are. It was always going to be a hard grippy day. I wasn’t looking for the jersey really, I was just trying to get in a good break but by doing that you can put yourself in contention.”
In the SKODA King of the Mountains classification it was another local rider, Preston’s Ian Bibby, who was the star of the day, leading the race over the first two climbs of the day – Nick o’Pendle and Bleara Moor – but it was Madison Genesis rider Tom Stewart who pulled on the jersey, after adding to his points haul from Stage One.
For full results and standings from Stage Two, please click here.
Stage Three sees the longest stage of the race so far at 216-kilometres, starting in Cumbria at Cockermouth at 10.15, before crossing the border north into Scotland, heading through Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, before the finish at Floors Castle on the outskirts of Kelso.
The Aviva 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.
Elia Viviani of Team Sky wins stage 1 of the Aviva Tour of Britain in a final sprint against Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel. Elia talks to CyclingShorts.cc and the assembled media after the race.
Elia Viviani of Team Sky wins stage 1 of the Aviva Tour of Britain in a final sprint against Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel.
Elia talks to CyclingShorts.cc and the assembled media after the race.