By Jonny Long
Katusha-Alpecin have announced Alex Dowsett and Harry Tanfield will line up for the Swiss team at the 2019 Tour of Britain.
Dowsett and Tanfield are among the first riders to be announced for the British stage race, which starts in Glasgow on September 7.
The eight stages culminate in Manchester on September 14, with an individual time trial on stage six, which Dowsett will be expected to target, having recently won the British national time trial championships for a record-equalling sixth time.
Ben Swift, another of Britain's top riders, will lead the line for Ineos and will also sport national bands, having become the British national road race champion in June.
His cousin, Connor Swift, will ride for the Great Britain cycling team alongside Rhys Britton, Jim Brown, Jake Stewart, Ethan Vernon and baby Giro stage winner Matt Walls.
Other riders who have not been confirmed but are expected to start include Amstel Gold Race winner Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus). The young Dutchman will then go on to target the rainbow bands of the World Championships in Yorkshire later in September.
Mikel Landa will also line up for what will be one of his last races for Movistar before he moves to Bahrain-Merida for 2020. Matteo Trentin is expected to feature for Mitchelton-Scott while Tiesj Benoot is said to be featuring for Belgian squad Lotto-Soudal.
Dylan Groenewegen is likely to compete against Van der Poel in the sprint finishes, with his Jumbo-Visma team-mate and yellow jersey wearer at this year's Tour de France Mike Teunissen being put to work in the sprinter's lead-out train.
The Tour of Britain could also be Dowsett and Tanfield's last race for Katusha-Alpecin, with rumours circulating that the team is set to fold at the end of the season and their riders were told during the Tour de France to look for new contracts. Team management have denied these claims.
This year’s race covers approximately 1,250 kilometres, with uphill finishes in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, Kendal in Cumbria and Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire, plus several stages concluding with spectator friendly finishing circuits.
“This year’s race is a quintessentially British affair, combining the short and sharp climbs we’re famed for with finishes for the world’s best sprinters and hopefully a few surprises along the way,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.
"But more than ever this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain route has been designed with spectators in mind. From visiting three iconic cities and including uphill finishes that are guaranteed to create drama to using finishing circuits, this year’s race will play a big role in helping Britain become a great cycling nation."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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