Tour of Britain 2016 stage four

Dates: September 3-10, 2017
 Edinburgh, Scotland
 Cardiff, Wales
TV Coverage: ITV4

The Tour of Britain will return for its sixth year running on September 3rd, and is expected to draw big name riders and even bigger crowds as it sweeps across the UK.

Starting in Scotland, the race will put riders right up against it from the start with the first two stages being this iteration’s hilliest. Many GC hopefuls will be aiming to build up a strong lead in stage one from Edinburgh to Kelso (188km) where they traverse through the East Lothian hills before finishing with a loop in the border-town of Kelso.

This is followed by the queen stage of the race with riders racking up 211km and 2,586km of total ascent, both the largest of the race. A hectic up and down start from Kielder Water and Forest Park then mellows out in the second half of the day before riders finishing on the coast in Blyth. Riders will be weary of taking the lead this early on but if they perform well in these first two days they could hold a strong lead going into the flatter stages of the race.

For the first time since 2012, the race will finish outside of the country’s capital opting to finish in Cardiff after 180km from Worcester.

2016 saw Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) take home the win and he might be hoping to do it again after a spell out early in the season forced him to miss out on leading Dimension Data at Liege Bastogne Liege. Fellow competitor at last year’s Tour of Britain, Rohan Dennis (BMC), will want to return to Blighty and go one better than his second place finish last year.

British time trial champion, Alex Dowsett (Movistar), will also be relishing the chance to take a win on home soil in stage five. The 16km individual time trial is a flat route along some of Dowsett’s favoured training roads in his home county of Essex.

Tour of Britain 2016

Last year Cummings became only the second Briton in history to win the overall classification at the Tour of Britain, sealing the victory after the final stage of the 2016 race in London.

There was no stage victory over the eight days for Cummings on en route to his overall glory, having finished second to Julien Vermote (Etixx-Quick Step) on stage two of the race. The Brit faced stiff competition from both Rohan Dennis and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) over the course of the race.

Despite Australian Dennis taking a stage win and impressing in the stage 7a time trial, Cummings was able to hold onto his overall lead and carry it into the circuit race in the British capital.

The win make Cummings the first Briton since Bradley Wiggins in 2013 to win the race overall and only the second from the race’s home nation in its short history.

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

2017 Tour of Britain Route

Stage 1, Sunday September 3, Edinburgh – Kelso, 188km
Stage 2, Monday September 4, Kielder Water & Forest Park – Blyth, 211km
Stage 3, Tuesday September 5, Normanby Hall Country Park – Scunthorpe, 172km
Stage 4, Wednesday September 6, Mansfield – Newark-on-Trent, 175km
Stage 5, Thursday September 7, The Tendering Stage individual time trial, 16km
Stage 6, Friday September 8, Newmarket – Aldeburgh,  183km
Stage 7, split stage, Saturday September 9, Hemel Hempstead – Cheltenham, 186km
Stage 8, Sunday September 10, Worcester – Cardiff, 180km

Key info: Route/stages | Iconic ToB photos

The Tour of Britain 2016 stage 7a time trial takes place in Bristol on Saturday morning over 15km. The full list of riders taking part, and their start times, is…