Tour of Britain presents “hardest ever” route
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tour of Britain presents “hardest ever” route

by Ben Atkins at 9:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
 
All regions of Great Britain represented in Olympic year; no London stage on 2012

lars boomThe Tour of Britain organiser has presented the 2012 route of what it claims will be the toughest ever edition of the race since its revival in 2004. The eight-day race, which will start on Sunday, September 9th, will take place just weeks after London hosts the 30th Olympic Games. For the first time in the race’s modern era however, the country’s capital will not host a stage.

“We would like to thank our many partners, venues and stakeholders for their involvement in the planning of the 2012 Tour of Britain and are excited to finally be able to reveal our plans to our supporters,” said race director Mick Bennett.
 
“The route of this year’s Tour is certainly our toughest yet, and to coin a phrase a race of two halves,” he added. “I am sure it will make for some spectacular action this September, and look forward to seeing bigger crowds than ever at the roadside in what is British sport’s biggest year.”

The race’s ‘Grand Depart’ will take place in the city of Ipswich, Suffolk, and head north into neighbouring Norfolk to the county’s Showground just outside Norwich. After the first of a number of long transfers, the following day’s stage will run from Nottingham, across the Peak District, to Knowsley, near Liverpool. From there, the race will head north to Scotland, for a stage between Jedburgh and Dumfires.

Following familiar stages from Carlisle to Blackpool, and around the city of Stoke-on-Trent, the race will repeat last year’s sixth stage between Welshpool and Caerphilly. Stage seven will take the race into the south west, with what will be a very tough 170.7km from Barnstaple on Devon’s north coast, to Dartmouth on the south.

Instead of the familiar London finale, the last stage of the race will cover a 147.7km course around the Surrey hills - part of which will have been used in the Olympic road race - between Reigate and Guildford, finishing at the top of the County Town’s cobbled High Street.

“The bone juddering cobbles of Guildford will provide an exhilarating finale to this incredible event,” said Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games.

Once again, the race leader’s yellow jersey will be sponsored by CFD derivative trader IG Markets.

“We were delighted with the success of The Tour of Britain last year,” said Tim Hughes, the company’s managing director. “The large crowds at the side of the road showed how cycling has captured the imagination of this country. This year’s Tour is huge opportunity as the first major sporting event in this country after the Olympics and Paralympics to capitalise on the nation’s enthusiasm for sport and for cycling.”

The 2011 edition saw an appearance from then World champion Thor Hushovd (then Garmin-Cervélo, now BMC Racing), who won the Caerphilly stage. The race’s organisers are doubtless hopeful that current World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky), who won the first and last stages of the 2011 race, will make an appearance in his own rainbow jersey this time around; if all goes to plan for cycling in the UK, the Manxman will also be brandishing Olympic gold.

Rabobank’s Lars Boom (pictured) won the overall title in 2011, after picking up two stage victories himself.

Tour of Britain (2.1)

Stages
Sunday 9th September: stage 1 - Ipswich to Norfolk Showground, 199.6km
Monday 10th September: stage 2 - Nottingham to Knowsley, 177.8km
Tuesday11th September: stage 3 - Jedburgh to Dumfries, 161.4km
Wednesday 12th September: stage 4 - Carlisle to Blackpool, 156km
Thursday 13th September: stage 5 - The Stoke-on-Trent Stage, 146.9km
Friday 14th September: stage 6 - Welshpool to Caerphilly, 189.8km
Saturday 15th September: stage 7 - Barnstaple to Dartmouth, 170.7km
Sunday 16th September: stage 8 - Reigate to Guildford, 147.7km

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