Tour of Britain 2016 route revealed
Having last welcomed the Tour of Britain in 2008, Glasgow will host the Grand Depart of the 2016’s edition 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.”
Stage 1 (4 September) – Glasgow to Castle Douglas – 168km
Stage 2 (5 September) – Carlisle to Kendal – 195km
Stage 3 (6 September) – Congleton to Tatton Park, Knutsford – 182km
Stage 4 (7 September) – Denbigh to Builth Wells – 217km
Stage 5 (8 September) – Aberdare to Bath – 205km
Stage 6 (9 September) – Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor – 150km
Stage 7a (10 September) – Bristol Stage Individual Time Trial – 15km
Stage 7b (10 September) – Bristol Stage Circuit Race – 76.5km
Stage 8 (11 September) – London Stage presented by TfL – 100km