While the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel will be the focus of many people’s attention when the Friends Life Tour of Britain begins in Liverpool on Sunday, this country’s five UCI-ranked domestic squads have more than enough riders capable of showing themselves in the eight-day event.
Here, CW looks at five riders on British teams who could figure prominently during the 11th edition of the modern tour.
Adam Blythe (NFTO)
An obvious choice. The winner of the recent Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, and rumoured target of at least one ProConti team, Blythe has a chance to mix it with arguably the world’s two best sprinters at this race. No domestic rider has won a stage of the modern race; the 24-year-old is arguably the most likely to end that in this year’s edition.
Kristian House (Rapha Condor-JLT)
The former British road race champion took the King of the Mountains title in 2012 after making the main breakaway in four of the eight stages. He placed second in last year’s competition, which meant we had to endure Angel Madrazo’s crude champagne celebration on the podium. However, House may have to focus on team duties this time around.
Steve Lampier (Giordana Racing)
Lampier only signed a contract with a UCI-ranked team in December, despite enjoying a strong 2013 Tour of Britain – the Cornish rider placed 12th on Haytor, the first summit finish in the modern tour. Finished second in last year’s GP of Wales, which included the climb of the Tumble, upon which stage three of the Tour of Britain will finish. He is capable of repeating his top 20 finish on GC once again.
Alex Peters (Madison-Genesis)
The 20-year-old Tour of the Reservoir winner is the second youngest rider in this year’s race (Rapha’s Hugh Carthy was born 100 days after him). The youngster forms part of a strong Madison-Genesis line-up, and has the ability to be their leading light.
Ian Wilkinson (Raleigh)
Raleigh’s charismatic pro has come desperately close to winning a stage of the race twice in the past three years – in Sandringham on the penultimate day of the 2011 edition, and into Llanberis 12 months ago. A canny bike rider and crowd favourite, Wilkinson getting into a breakaway during the race is almost likely as the now-traditional rain-soaked stage.
To view the full Friends Life Tour of Britain startlist, click here.
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