The Tour of Britain gets underway on Sunday 4 September in Aberdeen, Scotland and the dynamic route on offer this year should provide a thrilling spectacle.
From stage one's summit finish at Glenshee Ski Centre with a challenging three kilometre climb, to the climb at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which is designed to provide a dramatic general classification showdown, there isn't much room for rest for the entire peloton.
A puncheur has won the race for the last three years including Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in 2021.
We've already picked our five British stars to watch out for at the week long race.
Here are five riders who could challenge for the overall honours and find themselves on the top step of the final podium at The Needles, Isle of Wight on 11 September.
TOM PIDCOCK (INEOS GRENADIERS)
The moment Pidcock was confirmed to ride this year’s Tour of Britain he was instantly widely considered a strong favourite.
There appears to be nothing that the young star can’t do and this coming week could see him add stage-race success to his already remarkable palmares. Pidcock took an impressive stage victory at the Tour de France on Alpe d’Huez proving that he can mix it with the best climbers in the business as well as mountain bike stars.
Recently he was also crowned European Mountain Bike champion in Munich and winning the Tour of Britain would feel like a mammoth step forward in his road career.
DYLAN TEUNS (ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH)
Having joined Israel-Premier Tech from Bahrain-Victorious mid-season, Teuns certainly has a point to prove to his new employers. Primarily a climber, the opening stage of the race could suit Teuns’ abilities as it features a finish up Glenshee Ski Centre. The Belgian proved on stage one of the Tour de Romandie earlier this year that he is capable of coming out of the blocks sharply, too, while his La Flèche Wallonne victory highlighted his ascending prowess.
Two previous appearances at the Tour of Britain have yielded a podium place and multiple top ten finishes, something the 30-year-old will look to add to this year.
NILS POLITT (BORA-HANSGROHE)
Current German national road champion Politt could be a huge talisman for Bora-Hansgrohe at this year’s race.
The German rider is a natural born powerhouse and came fifth at Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier this year. Other impressive results that he’s picked up during his career include overall victory at last year’s Deutschland Tour as well as second place at Paris-Roubaix in 2019.
Nicknamed the “Giraffe”, Politt also recorded an impressive victory on stage 12 of the 2021 Tour de France. The 28-year-old can more than hold his own on punchy, hilly stages as well as catch out the sprinters with victories on flatter stages from the breakaway.
If Politt is Bora-Hansgrohe’s protected rider of choice at the Tour of Britain then he can certainly challenge the likes of Tom Pidcock for the overall win.
RICHIE PORTE (INEOS GRENADIERS)
Richie Porte is appearing at a race for the final time this September as the Australian rider bids farewell to professional cycling after a 13-year career.
Earlier this season the Australian put in a solid performance at the Giro d’Italia in support of Richard Carapaz. Particularly memorable was his phenomenal pace setting on the iconic Blockhaus climb which very nearly resulted in a Carapaz stage victory. Eventual overall winner Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the honours that afternoon in May. Porte eventually abandoned the Italian Grand Tour due to illness.
In his illustrious career Porte has won the Tour de Suisse, Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya.
Can he add one final stage race before he hangs up his wheels for good?
MIKE WOODS (ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH)
Israel-Premier Tech arrive at the Tour of Britain with two outstanding cards to play in the fight for overall victory.
Mike Woods finished fifth on the 2021 edition of the race and shone with the likes of Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) on the uphill finish in Llandudno. Neither Van Aert or Alaphilippe will be present at the race this year meaning 2022 could well be the time to shine for Woods.
The Canadian is a pure climber and has proven his capabilities in Grand-Tours as well as stage races across Europe throughout his career. Woods crashed out of the recent Vuelta a España meaning he will arrive for the opening stage in Aberdeen full of hunger to succeed. The former runner will be one to watch on the opening stage to Glenshee Ski Centre and will certainly shine on the final climb to the finish.
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