The route for this year’s national tour (September 4-11) was unveiled in Bristol on Thursday evening, with the most notable surprise coming in the form of the penultimate day’s split stage around the western English city itself.
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Riders will tackle a 15-kilometre individual time trial around Bristol in the morning, followed by a five-lap circuit race over the same course that afternoon. Again, as predicted by CW, the stage will finish atop the Bristol Downs, and feature the 600-metre long Bridge Valley Road climb, as per the race’s last visit in 2014.
For the second time in the race’s modern history, the event’s now annual hill-top finish will come atop Haytor, upon which Simon Yates brilliantly won during the 2013 edition.
Glasgow will host the race start of September 4, followed by a Lake District leg from Carlisle to Kendal on day two, again as predicted by CW.
London will host the race’s finale on September 11, with a 100-kilometre circuit race around the same 6.2-kilometre circuit around Piccadilly and the Stand used for the first time in 2015.
On paper, four stages look favourable to bunch sprints, which may not be an accident. Given this year’s World Championships road race in Qatar the following month looks suited to the sport’s fast finishers, organiser SweetSpot seem to be doing all they can to attract as many to the race as part of their Worlds preparation.
“We are confident that this year’s route for the Tour of Britain will provide the opportunity for eight exciting days of racing and a multitude of opportunities for riders and teams to be aggressive and make the race,” said race director Mick Bennett.
“We believe that with the combination of longer stages of over 200-kilometres, the tough circuit and time trial in Bristol and the summit finish at Haytor we have not just a great preparation for the World Championships but also a fantastic race that will showcase the British countryside and stands alone in its own right as a race riders will want to win.”
Tour of Britain 2016 route
Stage one, Sunday September 4
Glasgow – Castle Douglas, 168km
Stage two, Monday September 5
Carlisle – Kendal, 195km
Stage three, Tuesday September 6
Congleton – Tatton Park, Knutsford, 182km
Stage four, Wednesday September 7
Denbigh – Builth Wells, 217km
Stage five, Thursday September 8
Aberdare to Bath, 205km
Stage six, Friday September 9
Sidmouth to Haytor, 150km
Stage seven – split stage, Saturday September 10
Bristol ITT, 15km, Bristol circuit race, 76.5km
Stage eight, Sunday September 11
London circuit race, 100km