Tour of Normandy: The French race with a long history of British success

This year's Tour of Normandy begins on Monday, March 21, with 14 British riders competing. Raleigh-GAC, JLT-Condor and Madison-Genesis are all riding

Tour de Normandie 2015, stage one

(Image credit: Andy Jones)

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.

Raleigh GAC, Madison Genesis and JLT Condor will contest the 36th edition of the Tour, which gets underway on Monday, March 21, in Carentan.

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.

Londoner Alex Peters, then of SEG Racing, used his second-place finish in 2015 as a springboard to land a ride with Team Sky last summer.

Two years ago, British amateur Dan McLay won stage three of the race and ultimately went on to claim the green sprint jersey.

Last year’s Tour de Normandie also handed a professional debut to Team Wiggins, where Owain Doull finished third on stage four.

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.

>>> Behind the scenes with Team Wiggins at their debut race, the 2015 Tour of Normandy

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.

Irish team An Post-Chain Reaction are also sending a squad with Yorkshireman Jacob Scott one of their six riders. Jacob Shaw, of Lotto-Soudal U23, is racing too.

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.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1