By Thomas Dodd
The Tour of Normandy has been a happy hunting ground for British cycling in recent years and this year’s race sees three teams from the United Kingdom competing in the week-long race in northern France.
The event has been kind to British racers in the past and with 14 riders from these shores heading over to France there are high hopes of more success this time around.
Two years ago, British amateur Dan McLay won stage three of the race and ultimately went on to claim the green sprint jersey.
Check out the essential guide to this weekend’s main race
In 2012, Erick Rowsell finished second in the young rider category, thanks in part to a runner-up finish on stage two.
Rowsell (Madison-Genesis) will this year be riding alongside Tom Stewart, who wore the climber’s jersey for three stages of last year’s Tour of Britain before ultimately finishing second in the classification.
George Pym (Raleigh-GAC) will compete in his first UCI WorldTour race outside of Great Britain and a youthful Raleigh line-up will also feature 18-year-old Jack Escritt.
JLT-Condor will be led by Thomas Moses and Chris Lawless, the latter having been part of Team Wiggins’s first pro race 12 months ago.
Often characterised by the rain and wind, this year’s race comprises of six road stages preceded by a prologue, starting in Carentan and ending in Caen the following Sunday.
The man who pipped Peters to the top step of the podium last year, Dimitri Claeys, will not defend his title, but his team Verendas Willems return to the race led by Timothy Dupont, who won the Nokere Koerse in his native Belgium this week.