Tour of Britain Route Announced

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 for more information on the official Tour of Britain sportives taking place in August and September.



Raleigh Sets Sale

The Nottingham-based firm, Raleigh Cycle which has been making bicycles in the UK for 125 years has been sold to Accell for £62m; the deal with the Dutch rival is expected to go through, subject to competition authority approval, at the end of May. Such is the iconic status of some of Raleigh’s best known bikes, including the classic 70’s Chopper, that even those that never actually owned one seem to have false memory syndrome suggesting they did. Once the biggest cycle manufacturer in the world (employing more than 8,000 in the post-war years), Raleigh still employs almost 450 people, although many of these jobs are already global, with much of the manufacturing already taking place in the Far East. Accell Group, who had a turnover of €628.5 million in 2011, are best known for  brands including Batavus, Koga, Sparta, Winora, Hercules, Hai Bike, Ghost, Lapierre, Atala, Redline, Tunturi and XLC.


Commenting on the sale, Mark Gouldthorp, MD Raleigh UK, said: ‘This is great news for everyone involved with Raleigh in the UK – be they employees, retail partners or suppliers. We are confident in Raleigh UK’s current business strategy and are also very optimistic of the benefits to be gained by being part of the Accell Group of companies. With the synergies we have already identified, Raleigh UK expects to see accelerated sales growth both in the UK and in export markets within 2012.’