The ninth edition of the modern Tour of Britain runs from Sunday 9 to Sunday 16 September 2012, and will cover 1,349 kilometres through England, Scotland and Wales.
The Grand Depart will take place in Ipswich, with Suffolk and Norfolk hosting the 199km opening stage of this year’s race on Sunday 9 September. From there The Tour will visit Nottingham, Knowsley and Merseyside, Scotland, the North West, Stoke-on-Trent, Wales and Devon before the challenging final stage in the Surrey Hills, finishing on Guildford’s uphill, cobbled High Street on Sunday September 16.
The organisers are expecting over 100 of the world’s best riders representing teams familiar from the Tour de France. From Spain, or more specifically the Basque Country, will be Euskaltel Euskadi, Garmin – Sharp from America, Liquigas – Cannondale from Italy and the Aussies from Orica GreenEDGE. Home interest will rest on Team Sky Pro Cycling who won the event in 2009, with Edvald Boasson Hagen, and grabbed a couple of stage wins in 2011 through Mark Cavendish. Other local interest might also be provided by Endura, Node4 Giordana and Team Raleigh GAC.
One interesting addition will be debutantes Team UK Youth. Owned by Nigel Mansell and ‘promoting the values of leading youth charity UK Youth’ the team seems to be a bit of a family affair with sons Greg riding and Leo acting as Managing Director. You can find out more at Team UK Youth.
The organisers hope the event will once again ‘…showcase Britain’s stunning scenery to a domestic and international audience with some of the world’s top cyclists competing on British roads for the right to win the Gold Jersey.’ This year the key sponsors include logistics firm Yodel and IG Markets.
You can keep up with the latest developments at the news section of the ToB website. You can find preview maps here. You’ll find descriptions on all of the stage routes available and highly detailed interactive stage maps. If you fancy sampling a Tour of Britain route first hand, then visit www.tourride.co.uk for more information on the official Tour of Britain sportives taking place in August and September.