Tour of Britain 2017 route: Edinburgh start, Cardiff finale, Essex time trial, no summit finishes - Road Cycling UK

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Tour of Britain 2017 route: Edinburgh start, Cardiff finale, Essex time trial, no summit finishes

Race to finish outside London for first time since 2012

This year’s Tour of Britain will finish outside London for the first time since 2012, with the full route – starting in Edinburgh and finishing in Cardiff eight days later – revealed by organisers.

Sponsored by OVO Energy, the race has never previously started in the Scottish capital, though it will be the second consecutive year the race has started in Scotland after rolling out of Glasgow in 2016.

The eight-stage race will start on the Royal Mile on Sunday September 3, and finish outside Cardiff’s City Hall on Sunday September 11.

In between, the race will head through Northumberland, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, before a ten-mile time trial on British time trial champion Alex Dowsett’s turf in Trendring, Essex.

The race then heads to Suffolk, crosses the Cotswolds and finally concludes with a stage from Worcester to Cardiff on the final day.

Steve Cummings won last year’s Tour of Britain (pic: Sweetspot)

Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) won last year’s race – the first British winner since Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2013 – and the 20 teams competing in this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain will be revealed in the summer.

Alongside the individual time trial – the longest of the race since 2013 – the other major feature of the route is the absence of any summit finishes, for the first time since 2012.

Explaining the decision, race director Mick Bennett said: “We introduced summit finishes for the first time in 2013, this year we are giving a chance to the sprinters and rouleurs in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

“Following the success of the Tatton Park finish last year we have introduced several finishing circuits, this will add a new dimension for both the sprinter’s teams, who will get to see the finish beforehand, and the fans as a whole who will enjoy the spectacle of the race twice.

“The addition of an individual time trial over a classic British 10-mile distance will be a great contest between our National Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett, on his home roads in Essex, and the world’s best time trialists.”

Having rolled out of Edinburgh, stage one will head to Kelso in the Borders, with the 188km route including a 79km loop through the Scottish Borders region.

Stage two will start in the Northumberland National Park, at Kielder Water, and head out to the coast via Rothbury and Alnwick – visiting Bamburgh and Alnmouth as the route winds its way south battling the coastal winds.

At 211km, it will be the longest stage of the 2017 race, and finishes with a small loop into Blyth.

North Lincolnshire hosts the entire third stage – the first time the county has done so – on Tuesday September 5, with the 182km route starting in Normanby Hall Country Park and finishing in Scunthorpe.

Sticking with the theme of single-county stages, stage four is entirely held within Nottinghamshire, from Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent, via Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park before heading north to Worksop and returning south to the finish.

The stage is 175km in length, and also pays tribute to Tom Simpson as it passes the memorial to the rider in Bircotes.

A ten-mile time trial on Alex Dowsett’s home turf in Essex is among the stand-out features on the 2017 Tour of Britain route (pic: Sirotti)

Stage five is the Essex time trial, starting and finishing at Clacton-on-Sea on an open, out-and-back 16km coastal course which could prove crucial in the battle for the yellow jersey.

Stage six is the 183km Suffolk stage, heading east from Newmarket to Aldeburgh on the coast, via the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Natural Beauty.

The penultimate stage, from Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham, will include the climb of Cleeve Hill just 10km from the end of the 186km stage.

And the race will then conclude with a 180km stage from Worcester to Cardiff, which will also pass through the Malvern Hills, Monmouthshire and Newport.

Tour of Britain 2017: route

Sunday September 3: stage one – Edinburgh to Kelso, 188km
Monday September 4: stage two – Kielder Water to Blyth, 211km
Tuesday September 5: stage three – Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe, 182km
Wednesday September 6: stage four – Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent, 175km
Thursday September 7: stage five – Tendring, Essex individual time trial
Friday September 8: stage six – Newmarket to Aldeburgh, 183km
Saturday September 9: stage seven – Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham, 186km
Sunday September 10: stage eight – Worcester to Cardiff, 180km

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