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The route for the 2010 Tour of Britain has been unveiled by the organisers.

The eight-day race will start in Rochdale in Lancashire on Saturday, September 11 and visit Wales, the south west, East Anglia and Essex before finishing with a circuit race in east London.

Because of a clash with the Pope’s visit to London, the centre of the city is out of bounds to the race on the orders of the police and security services. Instead, the final stage will be a criterium in the London borough of Newham, passing the docks and London City airport.

This will be the seventh edition of the race since its revival in 2004.

The rolling opening stage will head north from Rochdale, into the Forest of Bowland before turning to finish on the seafront in Blackpool.

Stoke-on-Trent hosts the start and finish of stage two with the race heading into Staffordshire and the edge of the Peak District.

After a transfer to mid-Wales, stage three runs from Newtown to Swansea, crossing the Black Mountains on the way. Approaching the stage finish, the field will climb the steep cobbled brute of Constitution Hill where many riders have been forced to walk in past incarnations of the race.

There are two tough days in the West Country which have the capacity to decide the race. The first, stage four, goes from coast to cost, starting in Minehead in Somerset and finishing in Teignmouth, Devon. It’s one of those days where the roads will be up or down, rarely flat. Stage five starts in Tavistock and crosses the heart of Dartmoor to finish in Glastonbury, Somerset.

And then the riders face an transfer of epic proportions because stage six starts 245 miles away, in King’s Lynn in Norfolk, East Anglia. The Tour of Britain has often been criticised for the length of its transfers, an often unavoidable result of how the event is funded, by regional development agencies. But even with a clear run, this journey will take more than four-and-a-half hours by road, placing strain on the riders and support staff. Presumably the organisers will split the journey and do part of the transfer after the stage and the rest the following morning before the race.

However, the transfer does mean the race can visit East Anglia for the first time and stage six, which hugs the Norfolk coastline before darting inland and finally finishing at Great Yarmouth, will be flat and fast.

There’s another flat stage from Bury St Edmunds to Colchester in Essex, a town that hosted a Tour Series event last year, before the final stage in London’s Docklands. There may not be as many historic landmarks, but this is a stone’s throw from the part of London that will play host to the Olympics in two years time.

Saturday, September 11
Stage 1: Rochdale – Blackpool, 126km
Stage details

Sunday, September 12
Stage 2: Stoke-on-Trent – Stoke-on-Trent, 160km
Stage details

Monday, September 13
Stage 3: Newtown – Swansea, 150km
Stage details

Tuesday, September 14
Stage 4: Minehead – Teignmouth, 171km
Stage details

Wednesday, September 15
Stage 5: Tavistock – Glastonbury, 176km
Stage details

Thursday, September 16
Stage 6: King’s Lynn – Great Yarmouth, 189km
Stage details

Friday, September 17
Stage 7: Bury St Edmunds – Colchester, 151km
Stage details

Saturday, September 18
Stage 8: London (Newham) 100km
Stage details

Tour of Britain 2010

An Post
Cervelo Test Team
Garmin Transitions
HTC Columbia
Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
Rapha Condor Sharp
Saxo Bank
Sigma Sport Specialized
Skil Shimano
Team Sky
Topsport Vlaanderen
Two more to be announced

2004 Mauricio Ardila (Colombia)
2005 Nicky Nuyens (Belgium)
2006 Martin Pedersen (Denmark)
2007 Romain Feillu (France)
2008 Geoffroy Lequatre (France)
2009 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)

Related links

Tour of Britain 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Tour of Britain 2009: Cycling Weekly’s full coverage

Tour of Britain 2008: Cycling Weekly’s full coverage

External links

Tour of Britain official site

  • Mike Hutchings

    This is not a tour of Britain; just a couple of short trips in England and Wales. The concept of a tour means taking in all areas of the region defined as in the Tour of France. As a non-cyclist I enjoy the spectacle of the mass of cyclists racing on the road but am deprived of easy access to view them.

  • Bill Kirk

    why title the race as ‘tour of britain’ when it does not. many regions are being left out so the organisers need to rename.

    the few stages I have watched so far appear to favour a certain type of rider! so many hilly stages together does not make for good viewing especially for the finishing area

  • a.smith

    This cycle race surely defies the trade descriptions act it would appear to be a tour of Southern England. What a sham.

  • Steve

    Tour of Britain. Its very sad to see that nothing North of Rochdale is represented this year, such fantastic country side left out. More like the Tour of Southern Britain!!

  • Manni

    I know it can’t be easy for the organisers, and I do sympathise with them, but at first glance some of these stages look uninspired – holding two stages in the south west and two in East Anglia hardly seems fair for folk like Chris, and a dull as ditchwater (literally) crit circuit to finish is a p*ss-poor resolution to complications arising from the Pope’s visit.

    The Scottish Highlands, The Lakes, The Dales, The Pennines, The Peak are all wasted or not represented at their best yet again. And why not introduce the world to at least some of the roads from the Olympic route on the last stage? An opportunity wasted.

  • Ken Evans

    I hope this years route will be more selective than previous years,
    with bigger time intervals between riders.

    With hills that stop the yellow jersey team controlling the race.

  • Andrew Knights

    The Essex route looks like it could go south to North Hill, Little Baddow about 40km from Colchester (used for autumn hill climb competition). The area in North Essex and South Suffolk (Bury to Braintree) depending on the route can be very undulating with a series of short sharp climbs in the country, one after the other. Not mountainess but not flat either (well not for me anyway!!!) After cyclists travelling halfway across Europe on trains, in cars and on donkeys to the Classics, a 5 hour coach trip to North Norfolk will be a synch!! And North Norfolk definitely worth the trip.

  • Chris Howe-Jones

    Disappointed to see there are no stages in the north east this year. Presumably North Yorkshire and the North East regional development agencies felt they either couldn’t afford it or they got enough benifit from last year?