The route of the 2013 Tour of Britain has been announced - and there are several changes to the previous race format, including a 10-mile individual time trial, the event's first summit finish and a women's race. This year, the 10th anniversary route visits England, Scotland and Wales.
The eight-stage 2013 ToB kicks off on Sunday, September 15 in Peebles, Scotland for the opening stage to Drumlanrig Castle. It's then south to the Lake District for what should be a tough route from Carlisle to Kendal (September 16) - at 225km, it's the longest stage in the race's history.
On Tuesday, September 17, the riders will face a 16km (10 mile) individual test against the clock in Knowsley, Merseyside, before starting in ToB favourite Stoke-on-Trent the following day (September 18) as the race passes through Staffordshire and Shrophire and into Wales for a finish in Llanberis.
Staying in Wales for stage five (September 19), the riders start in Machnynlleth and travel to Caerphilly for two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain. Then it's a trip to the West Country on stage six (September 20) where the race sets out from Sidmouth, Devon, and concludes with a summit finish on Haytor, Dartmoor.
It's then east for the closing weekend of the race, with Saturday's penultimate stage running from Epsom to Guildford and then into London on Sunday (September 22) for a return to the traditional circuit-based finish around Westminster and Tower Hill in the capital.
"This will definitely be the most challenging Tour of Britain yet," said ToB Race Director Mick Bennett.
"We have several unique features and are very excited about the inclusion of our first ever summit finish. Our longest-ever time trial balances the course and will ensure that for spectators at the roadside and at home on television, the Tour of Britain is a thrilling battle throughout."
Several WorldTour teams have already signed up for the race: Sky, Garmin-Sharp, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Vacansoleil-DCM and Orica-GreenEdge. The full team list will be confirmed in the summer.
Last year, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke became the first British rider to win the Tour of Britain since its return to the calendar in 2004. Tiernan-Locke signed to Team Sky in the winter from the Endura squad.
Women's race on final day
For the first time, a womens' race will also take place on the final day of the 2013 Tour of Britain in London (September 22).
Better news is that a five-day UCI women's race will be added to the calendar in 2014. This will be a regional race over five stages, rather than a route throughout the country.
Tour of Britain 2013: Stages
Stage 1, Sunday September 15 - Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle - 201km
Peebles - Innerleithen - Selkirk - Hawick - Newcastleton - Canonbie - Gretna - Annan - Dumfries - Thornhill - Drumlanrig Castle
Stage one map and info>>
Stage 2, Monday September 16 - Carlisle to Kendal - 225km
Carlisle - Wigton - Cockermouth - Maryport -Workington - Whitehaven - Crummock Water - Buttermere - Derwent Water - Keswick - Thirlmere - Grasmere - Ambleside - COniston - Newby Bridge -Bowness-on-Windermere - Kendal
Stage two map and info>>
Stage 3, Tuesday September 17 - Knowsley Individual Time Trial - 16km
Knowsley Safari Park - Knowsley - Knowsley Safari Park
Stage three map and info>>
Stage 4, Wednesday September 18 - Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis - 190.9km
Stoke on Trent - Barlaston - Market Drayton - Whitchurch - Wrexham - Mold - Ruthin - Denbigh - Betws-y-Coed - Llanberis
Stage four map and info>>
Stage 5, Thursday September 19 - Machnynlleth to Caerphilly - 177.1km
Machynlleth - Llanidloes - Llangurig - Rhayader - Builth Wells - Brecon - Blackwood - Caerphilly
Stage five map and info>>
Stage 6, Friday September 20 - Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor National Park - 137km
Sidmouth - Honiton - Willand - Tiverton - Bickleigh - Stoke Canon - Exeter - Stacross - Chudleigh - Moretonhampstead - Bovey Tracey - Haytor
Stage six map and info>>
Stage 7, Saturday September 21 - Epsom to Guildford - 150.4km
Epsom - Leatherhead - East Horsely - Dorking - Holmbury St Mary - Cranleigh - Shere - Send - Woking - Ottershaw - Chobham - Knaphill - Normandy - Elstead - Churt - Farnham - Guildford
Stage seven map and info>>
Stage 8, Sunday September 22 - The London Stage, presented by TfL - 88km
Whitehall - Northumberland Ave - Victoria Embankment - Upper Thames Street - Lower Thames Street - Victoria Embankment - Bridge Street (Houses of Parliament) - Parliament Street
Stage eight map and info>>
Tour of Britain: Previous winners
2012 Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Great Britain)
2011 Lars Boom (Netherlands)
2010 Michael Albasini (Switzerland)
2009 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
2008 Geoffroy Lequatre (France)
2007 Romain Feillu (France)
2006 Martin Pedersen (Denmark)
2005 Nick Nuyens (Belgium)
2004 Mauricio Ardila (Colombia)
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