2009 TOUR OF BRITAIN LAUNCHED IN LONDON

The route of the 2009 Tour of Britain was unveiled yesterday in London at the Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

Except it wasn?t. The start and finish towns of each stage (with the exception of stage three which starts on the ?Scottish Borders?) were revealed but very little further details about the stages themselves were given.

What is certain is that hilly stage seven from Hatherleigh to Yeovil at 159km looks set to wrap up the race for the yellow jersey.

The London stage remains, but is now the closing stage rather than the opening stage. The course has been slightly extended to 9km and will now finish outside Downing Street rather than on the Embankment.

This year the race will stay at eight days long, although the organisers hinted at a possible extension to nine days in 2010. As with last year, ITV4 will show an evening highlights programme.

For the 2009 edition, there will be 16 teams each with six riders, with last year?s winner Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) stating his intention to return to Britain to defend his title.

Agritubel, Columbia, Saxo Bank and Garmin have all been confirmed whilst applications from Cervélo, Milram and Rabobank have been received.

2009 Tour of Britain: September 12-19

imageAbove: the peloton in the opening London stage of the 2008 Tour of Britain


CITY OF LONDON TO SPONSOR SMITHFIELD NOCTURNE

The award-winning Smithfield Nocturne returns on June 6 bringing night-time bike racing back to the streets of London.

The event has grown in stature since its inception in 2007 with a spin off Nocturne Series now in Edinburgh and Blackpool.

London will always remain the home of the Nocturne and the series organisers have developed a partnership with the City of London to take the event forward in 2009.

?The original Nocturne concept was developed with Rapha Condor as a celebration of London cycling in all its forms,? commented Event Director, James Pope.

?The partnership with the City of London strengthens the London connection. It is a massive boost to the Smithfield Nocturne and will help us achieve our aim of making the Nocturne one of the highlights of London?s sporting calendar in the run up to 2012.?

Stuart Fraser, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London said: ?The inclusive atmosphere makes Smithfield Nocturne a great night out for City residents and workers and we are proud to sponsor this event.?

The highlight of the programme around the historic market will be the elite criterium, which will feature top British pros and Olympic stars such as Ed Clancy and Chris Newton.

The ever-popular folding bike race sees city commuters competing on the circuit, with the now traditional Le Mans style start.

Other races in 2009 include the Cycling Weekly Support Race, an elite women?s criterium, a fixed wheel longest skid competition and the Citihub Team Challenge, featuring members of city businesses fighting it out on the circuit to raise money for the Lord Mayor?s Appeal.

The Smithfield Nocturne is free to attend and will take place around Smithfield Market between 6pm and 10pm on Saturday June 6. For more information, to enter the races and to purchase hospitality tickets go to www.smithfieldnocturne.com.


BRAMMEIER IN THE NETHERLANDS

Britain?s Matt Brammeier will head to the Netherlands for Sunday?s Omloop der Kempen.

Brammeier rode the Vuelta Asturias recently, but ?I was never riding for a result on the general classification, the main aim for me and the team was a good block of training going into two important races for us ? the Ras and the Tour of Belgium,? he told cyclingweekly.co.uk.

Brammeier had been suffering from a bout of tendonitis, but ?it?s getting better and I got through Asturias ok. I was in the race-long break on the first day, but with a lack of condition from not racing or training much I was dropped with 20km to go?.

The 200km 1.2 ranked one-day race will be ideal preparation for the Tour of Belgium which begins on May 27.

Brammeier and his An Post-Sean Kelly team will be up against some fierce opposition in Holland with Boy van Poppel (Rabobank Continental) and Frank Vandenbroucke (Cinelli) both set to start.


MIDLAND MONSTER PLACES FILLING FAST

Wheels in Wheels CC, the organisers of the Forest of Dean Classic sportive, have unveiled a new event for the Midlands.

The Midland Monster sportive uses many of the roads in the lower Peak District, which are as of yet untouched by any other sportive.

Two route options are available, a 160km route with over 5,000 feet of climbing and a slightly easier 120km ride.

Early entry is advised as there are just 400 places.

See www.wheelsinwheelscc.com for more information.


DISCOUNT FOR VISION 1 FANS

Vision 1 Racing fans will be offered a discount of ten per cent on their orders from Maxgear, a new online cycle retailer.

The shop offers a wide variety of cycling accessories and equipment, some of which are currently being used by World and Olympic champion, Nicole Cooke.

The promotional code – VISION10 – is redeemable at checkout from maxgear.co.uk


NINE BRITS IN THE GIRO

Nine British riders are set to take to the start of the Giro d?Italia on Saturday.

Just a few years ago that would have been unthinkable and it?s a remarkable indication as to how far the sport has come in Britain that the nine Britons could field a team amongst themselves.

Brits in the Giro: 2009 Giro d?Italia>>>

Daniel Lloyd looked as though he would miss this year?s Giro after suffering from a virus but has now been called up at the last minute to replace Hayden Roulston who is suffering from ankle problems.

Dan Lloyd gets late call up for Giro d?Italia>>>

RELATED LINK

Monday’s British news round-up

If you have any British news you would like to share, get in touch: andrew_canning@ipcmedia.com