Since its reincarnation in 2004 the Aviva Tour of Britain has gone from strength to strength, attracting the biggest teams and the best riders in the world to the challenging racing on British roads.
The Tour of Britain gives domestic teams like JLT-Condor and One Pro Cycling given the chance to race alongside WorldTour teams such as Team Sky and Etixx-Quick Step, allowing lesser-known riders to make their name.
“[The race] is special because it’s one of the only times we get to race on home roads. There’s more and more British races coming along now, but the Tour of Britain was the first,” said Sky’s Ben Swift.
Double Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy added: “It’s a big deal for me and it’s a big deal for every single British guy who’s doing it – [Mark] Cavendish included, who’s used to winning Tour de France stages – it’s a big race now.”
It’s not just the British riders who enjoy the race, with riders of nine different nationalities winning the 11 editions since 2004. Some view it as a good way to end their season, while other WorldTour stars are using the race as a stepping stone.
“We’re heading towards the World Championships now and this race perfectly suits my preparation towards that, so we try to make the best out of it,” Lotto-Soudal’s Andre Greipel added.
The Tour of Britain concludes on Sunday, September 13, with a criterium-style stage around the streets of Central London.