The 11th edition of the reborn Tour of Britain proved that the nation’s appetite for bike racing is not waning. Throughout the race, from its start in Liverpool to its conclusion in London a week later, the roads were lined with enthusiastic fans.
Live television broadcasts from every stage and an unusually kind run of warm, rain-free weather helped the race along, bringing the event to a wide audience and showing off the great British countryside at its best. The riders themselves acclaimed it as the toughest ever Tour of Britain, and arguably the best.
Cycling Weekly photographer Andy Jones followed the race from beginning to end, capturing not just the action as it unfolded but also the places and people of the 2014 Tour of Britain.
Mark Cavendish and Omega Pharma-QuickStep line up in Liverpool for the team presentation, and come dressed for the occasion in grey hoodies, trackie Bs and trainers.
Attention falls on defending champion Bradley Wiggins during the team presentation
Sky’s Ben Swift and Ian Stannard (right) pose with official race mascot Toby
Marcel Kittel wins one of the few straight-up sprints against rival Mark Cavendish (right) that the two have encountered this season. Cavendish had earlier been involved in a collision with a team car and suffered for the rest of the week, also conceding the final stage to Kittel in London
Marcel Kittel has a bit of wardrobe trouble as Lisa Medwell helps him zip up after winning the opening stage in Liverpool and taking the race lead
The peloton is dwarfed by the structure of Runcorn Bridge during stage two
The number of fans lining the roads and streets mean good vantage points are a highly sought-after commodity as people struggle to get a view of the peloton pass by
Mark McNally made the King of the Mountains classification his own. Here he is sweeping up points on Haytor
The effort shows on Alex Dowsett’s face after he rode himself into the race lead on stage six on what he described as his ‘hardest day ever’. He would only keep the yellow jersey for one day, losing time on the following stage
Closed roads during the event give a rare opportunity for people to ride on traffic-free tarmac before the race arrives
Riders of the peloton merge into the sea of spectators at the start of stage seven in Camberley
A young fan gets into the spirit of the race, writing the name of his favourite rider in chalk on the tarmac of Ditchling Beacon during stage seven
Many spectators made the trip to the South Downs climb of Ditchling Beacon to watch the fragmented peloton pass through
A fan in London shows the young hipsters what real facial hair looks like
Bradley Wiggins signs autographs for his numerous fans in Westminster during the final stage. The defending champion ended the race in third place overall
Alex Peters crashed into a barrier on the final corner and was forced to complete his time trial on foot
Bradley Wiggins put in a crowd-pleasing performance in the time trial to win the stage by a convincing margin, showing he has good form ahead of the World Championships
Race winner Dylan Van Baarle is shown the way by a Garmin-Sharp team helper in London
Overall victor Dylan Van Baarle (centre) and Michal Kwiatkowski (left) are shown how to spray Champagne on the podium by a man who knows – Bradley Wiggins
More from photographer Andy Jones