The Tour of Britain (September 7 to 14) is back for 2019, with the race kicking off in Scotland with a conclusion in Manchester’s Deansgate.
This year’s race covers approximately 1250 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.”
The race dates right back to 1945, though there have been some gaps in its history. In this time, it’s carried the names of the ‘Milk Race’, ‘Kellogg’s Tour of Britain’ and the ‘Pru Tour’. The existing set-up arrived in 2004 and the race is currently organised by the Sweet Spot Group.
Read on for a breakdown of the stages, route information, TV guides and a rider start list.
Tour of Britain 2019 route: where can I watch?
Crowds will gather at the start and finish towns, as well as lining the route – specifically congregating at key climbs for a chance to see fireworks as riders try to split the race or take control of the peloton.
The race kicks off in Glasgow city centre, with the 201.5km stage on Saturday September 7 concluding in Dumfries and Galloway.
Following the longest stage of the race, day two stays in Scotland, with the Scottish Borders route starting and finishing in the on the cobbled Market Square in Kelso on Sunday September 8.
Stage three travels from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, covering 182.2km and concluding with an uphill finish in the city centre.
Then the race heads to Gateshead, for a lumpy route over the Pennines, and through the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This Queen stage covers 171km, accumulating 3,000 metres of climbing, with a finish on the 11 per cent climb of Beast Banks in Kendal.
The following stage, on Wednesday September 11, will be another race with a shared start/finish, this time in Birkenhead Park – where fans can enjoy witnessing riders complete laps of a finishing circuit.
The Worcestershire stage follows, on Thursday September 12 – though details are still to be confirmed.
Then it’s on to Warwickshire, for a 186.5km route, starting in Warwick and concluding with two finishing circuit laps, including three ascents of the 1.4km Burton Dassett climb.
The final day of racing will begin in Altrincham, and the 165km route will add up to 2,000 metres of climbing, including an ascent of the Rake at Ramsbottom. Passing through all ten of Greater Manchester’s boroughs, the race will end in Deansgate.
|Stage one||Saturday, September 7||George Square, Glasgow to Dumfries and Galloway||201.5km|
|Stage two||Sunday, September 8||The Scottish Borders Stage – start/finish in Market Square, Kelso||166.4km|
|Stage three||Monday, September 9||Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne||182.2km|
|Stage four||Tuesday, September 10||Gateshead to Kendal||171.5km|
|Stage five||Wednesday, September 11||The Wirral Stage – start/finish in Birkenhead Park||174km|
|Stage six||Thursday, September 12||The Worcestershire Stage||TBA|
|Stage seven||Friday, September 13||Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park||186.5km|
|Stage eight||Saturday, September 14||Altrincham to Deansgate, Manchester||165km|
Tour of Britain on TV
You’ll be able to see the race live or catch up via highlights on ITV4 – the timings are yet to be announced, but we’ll update this page with details when they become available.
|Stage 1||Saturday September 7||TBC||TBC|
|Stage 2||Sunday September 8|
|Stage 3||Monday September 9|
|Stage 4||Tuesday September 10|
|Stage 5||Wednesday September 11|
|Stage 6||Thursday September 12|
|Stage 7||Friday September 13|
|Stage 8||Saturday September 14|
Who sponsors the Tour of Britain?
British independent energy supplier OVO Energy was unveiled as the race’s title sponsor in 2017, and this is ongoing.
The race is organised by the Sweet Spot Group, who also organise the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Tour of Britain jerseys
The top prize at the Tour of Britain is the green jersey, this goes to the leader of the General Classification. In the last edition of the race, this went to Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors). He won by 17 seconds over Wout Poels (Team Sky), with Primož Roglič LottoNL-Jumbo) in third at 33s.
There’s also a Points jersey up for grabs, for the rider who claims the best results in stage winning sprints. In 2018, this went to Paddy Bevin (BMC Racing Team).
Closely related is the Sprints jersey, donned by the rider who picks up the most points in intermediate sprints – this was awarded to Alex Paton (Canyon Eisberg) last year.
The King of the Mountains Jersey goes to the rider who claims the best results on designated ascents. In 2018, Nic Dlamini (Team Dimension Data) took the honours.
>>> Get inspired: Iconic ToB photos
Past winners of the Tour of Britain
- 2004 – Mauricio Ardila (COL) Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf
- 2005 – Nick Nuyens (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
- 2006 – Martin Pedersen (DEN) Team CSC
- 2007 – Romain Feillu (FRA) Agritubel
- 2008 – Geoffroy Lequatre (FRA) Agritubel
- 2009 – Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Team Columbia–HTC
- 2010 – Michael Albasini (SUI) Team HTC–Columbia
- 2011 – Lars Boom (NED) Rabobank
- 2012 – Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin–Sharp
- 2013 – Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky
- 2014 – Dylan van Baarle (NED) Garmin–Sharp
- 2015 – Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) MTN–Qhubeka
- 2016 – Steve Cummings (GBR) Team Dimension Data
- 2017 – Lars Boom (NED) LottoNL–Jumbo
- 2018 – Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
Tour of Britain 2020 route
The Ovo Energy Tour of Britain will begin in Penzance in 2020, marking the event’s first visit to Cornwall.
Around 120 riders will cover 170 kilometres from the country’s tip to Bodim, with the provisional route travelling through the likes of St Ives and Newquay.
Other towns included in the route include St Just, Hayle, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, St Austell and the riders should pass the Eden Project.
The agreement was confirmed with Cornwall Council on Friday and it’s expected that the race’s visit will boost Cornwall’s economy by around £3 million with 180,000 people due to spectate.
It’ll be the biggest sporting event ever hosted in Cornwall, and will be broadcast on ITV4 and Eurosport.
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “A lot of hard work over a sustained period has gone into today’s news, which we know will excite sports fans in Cornwall and across Britain.”
Cornishman and former pro Chris Opie said: “I am a lifelong athlete who grew up in Cornwall, but had to look further afield for inspiration from world class athletes… The chance to witness the world’s top athletes competing in one of the world’s toughest events right on their doorstep, enabling a generation to dream and to aim for large, exciting, ambitious goals could be genuinely life changing.
“Very few individuals have the belief they can do something extraordinary in life, the Tour of Britain is the perfect vehicle to showcase that life can be special.”
Former pro and now sports director of the EF Education First team Tom Southam hails from Penzance and said: “They are roads that I grew up riding on and absolutely love. It’s a great part of the world and to showcase it by hosting the opening stage of the 2020 Tour of Britain is going to be an incredible event for everyone in Cornwall to get involved with.”