The two-day Tour of Wessex will be part of the Premier Calendar in 2009 ? and Cycling Weekly can reveal the route and the leaders? jerseys.

A field of 120 of the country?s best riders will head to the south west of England for the race on May 23 and 24.

Both stages will start and finish at Somerton Sports Club in Somerton, with Saturday?s 102-mile leg heading into Wiltshire. Sunday?s second stage is a 112-mile loop heads south east into Dorset.

Each day involves more than 2,200 metres of climbing, which means the race will be among the toughest on the Premier Calendar.

The Tour of Wessex cyclo-sportive remains a three-day event. It follows the same route as the race on Saturday and Sunday and continues into bank holiday Monday. The race will start ten minutes before the cyclo-sportive riders set off.

Police remained nervous about the prospect of holding the race on the Monday when roads will be busier with holiday traffic and police resources would be stretched.

However, the race organiser Nick Bourne told CW he hoped a successful debut race in 2009 would convince police of the merits of adding a third day.

The Tour of Wessex had been planned for this year, but the organisers could not come to an agreement with police. Now the event gets the go-ahead it?s a big boost for the Premier Calendar series.

In 2009 there will be 13 events, including three stage races. They are the Bikeline two-day and the Girvan in March and the Tour of Wessex.

See Thursday?s Cycling Weekly, when we will reveal the full 2009 Premier Calendar series.

TourGold leader?s jersey

TourPoints competition jersey sponsored by Somerset County Council

TourKing of the mountains jersey

TourUnder-23 classification jersey


Don?t miss Thursday?s edition of Cycling Weekly for our feature on how the Premier Calendar series is enjoying a resurgence ? and how domestic racing is set to get even bigger in 2009.


To coincide with the magazine?s Premier Calendar feature, we?ll be publishing a survey of the top riders and race organisers in Britain on this website on Thursday.

Plus we’ll have the full list of domestic race dates for 2009.