Race starts in Edinburgh on Sunday 3 September and finishes in Cardiff a week later

ITV4 will next month broadcast every minute of all eight stages of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the first time the race has ever received full coverage.

Matt Barbet and former pro Yanto Barker will be returning to present the up to six hours of live coverage each day, with a highlights programme following in the evening.

The race starts in Edinburgh on Sunday 3 September and finishes in Cardiff a week later.

> OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2017 route

Alastair Grant, commercial director at race organisers SweetSpot, commented: “It is fantastic news that for the first time viewers on ITV4 will be able to watch every second of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain live, from our start in the heart of Edinburgh to the Cardiff finish, we look forward to providing viewers nationwide with a showcase of the best Britain has to offer this September.

“We are also delighted on behalf of our partners and regional stakeholders thanks to the greatly increased promotional platform that this extended live coverage will deliver, with over 15 hours’ more coverage.”

Among the stars expected to line up for the race are Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish and Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, provided both make a full recovery from the injuries they sustained at the Tour de France last month.

They will be joined by other stars including the Katusha-Alpecin pair of Tony Martin, the world time trial champion, and former Milan-San Remo and Tour of Flanders winner Alexander Kristoff, who has been in rich form after winning the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic earlier this month.

Race sponsor OVO Energy’s managing director, Chris Houghton, said: “We’re proud to be the title sponsor of the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event, the Tour of Britain.

“This year, fans won’t miss a pedal stroke – with extended live television coverage of up to six hours each day across all eight stages of the race. Those tuning in will witness the most exciting Tour yet.”

ITV4 is in its tenth year of covering the race, having first aired evening highlights shows in 2008, and began live coverage in 2012.

> Strongest ever field expected for this year's OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.