Daniel Lloyd, one of a handful of British riders to have competed in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, returns with another preview series.
On this occasion, by taking a look at key stages of the Tour of Britain, he will be previewing a race in which he will take part. Lloyd’s Team IG-Sigma Sport squad will be one of six British teams taking part.
He is under no illusion about the race’s big draws: Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, and world road race champion, both riding for Britain’s only WorldTour team, Sky Pro Cycling, are set to draw thousands to the road side.
For Team IG-Sigma Sport, and the other British squads competing in the EuropeTour (Endura Racing, Rapha Condor Sharp, and Raleigh-GAC), the Tour of Britain will be the biggest objective of the season, Lloyd says: a chance to pit themselves against six of the teams who contested the Tour de France.
The stage’s first sprint point, encountered after just 9km, could prove crucial, he warns: the 2007 Tour of Britain was decided by one second, with winner Romain Feillu and runner-up Adrian Palomares separated by the 100ths of seconds that divided them in the time trial.
Lloyd predicts speeds in excess of 60kph in the sprint for bonus seconds, and Mark Cavendish, perhaps on one of his final engagements as world road race champion, likely to be in the hunt for the stage win.
Will this year’s race produce a British winner? None has before, but Team Sky and Endura Racing especially, would like to change that.