Details of the 2017 Tour of Britain route, which runs from September 3 to 10
The race visits a selection of towns and cities which will be hosting the event for the first time, as well as returning to a few old favourites.
Where can I watch the Tour of Britain?
Crowds will gather at the start and finish towns, as well as lining the route – specifically congregating at key climbs for a chance to see fireworks as riders try to split the race or take control of the peloton.
Edinburgh will host the opening stage on Sunday, September 3, for the first time, with Cardiff hosting the finish of the eighth and final stage on Sunday, September 10, for a conclusion in Wales. Not since 2012 has the race finished outside London.
Stage one kicks off in the prestigious surroundings of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, heading south to Kelso in the Scottish Borders for a crowd-friendly finishing loop.
Stage two is hosted by Northumberland, with the stage starting near the picturesque Kielder Water and Forest Park before heading to Blyth on the race’s longest stage.
It’s further south to North Lincolnshire for stage three, which plays host the race for the first time since 2009. The day kicks off in the Normanby Hall country estate and finishes in Scunthorpe.
Stage four on Wednesday, September 6, is again hosted in its entirety by one county – this time, Nottinghamshire. Mansfield hosts the stage start with the finish taking place in Newark-on-Trent. It’s the first time that the race has visited both venues.
A 10-mile (16km) time trial stage takes place the following day in Tendring, Essex, which will undoubtedly help to shape the general classification. It’s the longest test against the clock in the race since 2013.
Then it’s west to the undulating roads of the Cotswolds for stage seven from Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham.
The race concludes on Sunday, September 10, with a stage starting in Worcester and tackling the roads of Worcestershire and Herefordshire before finishing in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
Who sponsors the Tour of Britain?
British independent energy supplier OVO Energy has been unveiled as the race’s title sponsor.
“This year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain route is a race of firsts, with nine new venues welcoming the race plus our first overall start in the city of Edinburgh,” said race director Mike Bennett. “We will be bringing Britain’s biggest professional cycle race to new areas this September and look forward to our first finish in Wales and the chance to race into Cardiff.
“We introduced summit finishes for the first time in 2013, this year we are giving a chance to the sprinters and rouleurs in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain. Following the success of the Tatton Park finish last year we have introduced several finishing circuits, this will add a new dimension for both the sprinter’s teams, who will get to see the finish beforehand, and the fans as a whole who will enjoy the spectacle of the race twice.
“The addition of an individual time trial over a classic British 10-mile distance will be a great contest between our National Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett, on his home roads in Essex, and the world’s best time trialists.”
ITV4 will be broadcasting live television coverage of the race, with three hours of live coverage each day plus a one-hour highlights package.
Twenty teams will line up for the race, with an announcement of the squads taking part due in the summer.
Who won the 2016 Tour of Britain?
Victory of the 2016 race went to Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) – he was the first British rider to take the title since Bradley Wiggins in 2013 and the duo represent the only cyclists to take a home nation win at the race.
Final overall classification for 2016
1. Steve Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data at 31-30-45
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing at 26 secs
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 38 secs
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal at 1-02
5. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac at 1-21
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky at 1-26
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 1-48
8. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky at 1-52
9. Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep at 2-12
10. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2-32
OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2017 stages
Stage one, Sunday September 3, Edinburgh to Kelso, 188km
The opening stage of the race leaves from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, with the peloton setting off from outside of St Giles’ Cathedral. The riders will thread out along the coast, before heading inland to the finish town of Kelso.
It’s not all over there, though. From Kelso, there’s a further 79 kilometre tour of the Scottish Borders, before the route returns to the town with a full distance of 188 kilometres complete and 2,525 metres of ascent in the legs.
Intermediate sprints will come into play at Gifford, Coldstream and Melrose. The KOM points are to be won on Redstone Rigg, at Dingleton and Scott’s View.
Fans in Edinburgh will have the chance to enjoy traffic free streets thanks to the HSBC UK City Ride, which will take place once the peloton has left the city.
Stage two, Monday September 4, Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth, 211km
The Northumberland stage of the race heads out from Kielder Water and Forest Park to Blyth – accumulating 211 kilometres and 2,586 metres of climbing.
Over the course of this stage – which is the longest of the 2017 race – riders will pass Rothbury, Alnwick, Bamburgh and Morpeth. They’ll also ride along the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
With much of the stage travelling along the coast, winds are likely to have an impact on the fast, flat roll into the finish.
There will be KOM points on the line at Winter’s Gibbet, Cragside and Corby’s Crags. Sprint points will be contested at Seahouses, Warkworth and on the final loop into the finish at Seaton Sluice – that last intermediate sprint could well play a key part in deciding the stage winner.
Stage three, Tuesday September 5, Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe, 182km
Stage three is a flatter affair, at 1,087 metres over 172 kilometres. The riders will roll out from the 300-acre estate of Normanby Hall Country Park, with a finish in Scunthorpe near Central Park.
There are sprint points at Crowle, Messingham Road and Scawby with climber’s rewards in the second loop at Greetwell, Wrawby Hill and Sheffield’s Hill.
Stage four, Wednesday September 6, Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent, 175km
Today’s stage will take riders from Mansfield to Newmark-on-Trent, looping into Eastwood, Hucknall, Gedling. The peloton will sweep through the grounds of Newstead Abbey, as well as the centre of Southwell.
Having passed through Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park, the route travels north into the towns of Worksop and Retford, as well as Harworth and Bircotes where riders will travel past the memorial to 1965 World Champion Tommy Simpson.
There are three intermediate sprints during the stage, at Bilsthorpe, Ranskill and Collingham as well as one chance to pick up climber’s points at Eaton Wood.
Stage five, Thursday September 7, Tendring Stage Individual Time Trial, 16km
This flat out 16 kilometre time trial marks the first time the town of Tendring has been used as a host for the Tour of Britain, but it did have the honour of playing home to the Women’s Tour in 2014 and 2015.
Riders will TT by the sea, with a short loop into the town for some more technical twists and turns before heading back along the coast to the finish.
Stage six, Friday September 8, Newmarket to Aldeburgh, 183km
The entire route of the stage six course – at 183 kilometres and 1,228 metres of climbing – is contained within Suffolk.
The race leaves from Newmarket, visiting Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds, Eye, Framlingham and Woodbridge, heading towards a finish in the coastal town of Aldeburgh.
Riders will battle it out for sprint points at Ixworth, Stradbrooke and Kesgrave, with one KOM opportunity at Snape.
Stage seven, Saturday September 9, Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham, 186km
The penultimate stage ramps the climbing back up to 2,370 metres over 186 kilometres as riders leave from Hemel Hempstead, covering through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire before visiting Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh.
Brill Hill and Bourton on the Hill host KOM climbs, as well as Cleeve Hill, which is nestled just within the final 10 kilometres, potentially breaking up the field. There are sprints at Bourton on the Water, Morton in Marsh, and just before the final KOM climb at Winchcombe.
Stage eight, Sunday September 10, Worcester to Cardiff, 180km
Bucking the trend of previous years, the race finishes in Cardiff this year – its first finale outside of London since 2012.
The final stage is 180 kilometres long, with 2,042 metres of ascent. The stage starts in Worcester, travels through Monmouthshire and Newport, finishing on King Edward VII Avenue, alongside Cardiff City Hall.
The KOM climbs feature at British Camp, Marlborough Drag, and close to the finish at Celtic Manor. There will be sprint points up for grabs at Ledbury and Usk.
Keeping two hill stages towards the end of the race leaves plenty of room for movement in the GC, promising a thrilling race right to the very end.