While a lot of the big players in road cycling are reaching the business end of the Vuelta a Espana, some of the other top riders in the world are currently in the UK competing in this year’s Tour of Britain, which started yesterday.
Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins are both racing, Wiggins is spearheading his newly formed ‘Team Wiggins’ which will no doubt please the crowds on the stages that take in some of the great sites of Britain this week.
Mark Cavendish (winner of 10 stages in the Tour of Britain already) is also competing and hoping to take the race by storm. However just to spice things up Andre Greipel, who was Mark’s nemesis on the Tour de France this year is also racing.
This years race will see twenty teams competing across eight stages around parts of Scotland, the north, central and east of England before the traditional finale in London next Sunday. Unlike last year there won't be a time trial stage, the final day will be a criterium stage around Westminster rather than a split stage including a short time trial.
The opening stage yesterday saw the riders cover 177km from Beaumaris on Anglesey to Wrexham. With Team Sky doing most of the work in the peleton during the day, their efforts were repaid when the Italian Elia Viviana narrowly beat Mark Cavendish to claim victory, Andre Greipel finished third.
Today’s stage has been described by the race director, Mick Bennett, as the race’s equivalent of an “Ardennes Classic” is a twisting 162km ride through the Pendle valley from Clitheroe to Colne.
The rest of the week sees some grueling, grinding stages across the country.
Stage 3, Tues Sept 8, Cockermouth to Floors Castle, Kelso, 216km
Stage 4, Weds Sept 9, Edinburgh to Blyth, 218km
Stage 5, Thur Sept 10, Prudhoe to Hartside Pass, 171km
Stage 6, Fri Sept 11, Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, 189km
Stage 7, Sat Sept 12, Fakenham to Ipswich, 225km
Stage 8, Sun Sept 13, London criterium, 93km
See the below link for more details on the stages.
Here at Bon Courage we have designed 2 dedicated Tshirts for the Tour of Britain, both beautifully hand-drawn and then painted. Printed on our super soft cotton tees. We also have both designs in prints, a perfect gift for those that have loved seeing the racing go past their doorstep this week.