Tour of Britain 2021: route, stages, race dates, confirmed riders including Mark Cavendish - and 2022 details
This year’s race begins in Cornwall and winds its way up the west coast of Great Britain to Aberdeenshire
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The 2022 edition of the Tour of Britain is almost upon us, just weeks after the conclusion of a thrilling Tour de France that saw Britain’s Mark Cavendish equal Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins.
The race counts the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Julian Alaphilippe and Mathieu van der Poel as former winners.
The 2020 edition of the race was cancelled due to the pandemic, with this year’s event set to follow roughly 90 per cent of a route that was planned but not announced last year.
But what can we expect from 2021’s race?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is the route?
This year’s race begins in Cornwall on 5 September and includes a team time trial in Carmarthenshire, a hill-top finish on the Great Orme in Llandudno, a first-ever stage finish in Edinburgh, and a testing route across the northern Pennines as the peloton makes its way from Penzance to Aberdeen.
Edinburgh will host the finish of stage seven, which will start in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, the day after a stage from Cumbria to Gateshead.
The opening two stages, the first between Penzance and Bodmin and the brutal second between Sherford in Devon and Exeter via Dartmoor, have already been announced alongside the finale from Stonehaven to Aberdeen.
Stages three and four are due to take place entirely within Wales, but no further details have yet been released due to the different Covid-19 regulations in the country.
Stage five will take the peloton along the Cheshire lanes on a relatively flat route to the golden gates of Warrington, which will be making its debut as a host venue.
It is then back into the hills for a stage linking Cumbria to Gateshead via the Lake District and the climb of the Hartside Pass in the northern Pennines, finishing in the shadow of the Angel of the North.
After stage seven into Edinburgh, the climbing legs will then be needed again on the final day, with the climb of Cairn O’Mount in the Grampian mountains included on the route from Stonehaven to Aberdeen.
For more information on the 2021 route, head to the Tour of Britain website
Who’s riding in it?
Mark Cavendish is the first rider to confirm he will race in the 2021 Tour of Britain.
The sprinter, fresh from equalling Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage wins after four more victories this summer, will lead the Deceuninck-Quick-Step team at the event.
Cavendish has won more stages of the modern Tour of Britain – 10 – than any other rider. This will be the 12th time he has competed in the race, having led it for two days during the 2007 edition.
“It is always an honour to race on the home roads of the Tour of Britain,” Cavendish said.
“It is a race where I have always enjoyed success and I am really looking forward to racing with what I know will be a strong Deceuninck-Quick-Step team.
“It has already been a special year for me and riding the Tour of Britain will be a great way to see so many of the people that have supported me throughout.”
We’ll update this article as and when more big names are announced.
When is the Tour of Britain 2021?
The 2021 edition of the race will take place between 5 - 12 September.
The Women’s Tour, part of the Women’s World Tour, took place earlier this year in Oxfordshire and Suffolk from 7 - 12 June.
Where will the 2022 race visit?
2021’s edition of the Tour hasn’t even begun, but already organisers have confirmed some of the plans in place for next year’s race.
The Tour of Britain will head to the Isle of Wight in 2022, the first time the race has visited the island which has previously hosted the likes of the Isle of Wight Classic in 1985.
Organisers have also confirmed that Aberdeenshire will host the opening stage of the 2022 edition.
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