This year's Tour of Britain will start in Yorkshire and finish in London eight days later en route it will visit the North East, followed by a first visit to the Scottish Borders, then the North West, then two stages in South West England leading up to the finale in London. There will also be a series of mass participation events linked to the Tour which will be announced in a few weeks time.
The race starts in on the 12th September with the Grand Depart in Scunthorpe. "On the way from the Grand Depart to the final stage in London, riders will face and experience every kind of challenge that the UK's countryside has to offer, while taking in some breathtaking views of our wonderful country,
" 96 of the world's top cyclists will once again be taking on the challenge of The Tour of Britain in 2009, with a route designed to deliver a worthy overall winner to join the ranks of previous yellow jerseys such as Geoffroy Lequatre, Romain Feillu and Nick Nuyens. ,” said Technical Director of the Tour of Britain Michael Bennett.
The first stage finishes in York and subsequent stages will visit a combination of previously visited venues and regions with the addition of some new ones. The Tour then re-visits the North East once again racing from Darlington to Newcastle/Gateshead on Stage Two, while Stage Three sees The Tour heads to Scotland in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. This is the first time The Tour of Britain will be visiting this part of Scotland.
The Tour of Britain then heads south, with Stage Four featuring the North West of England and Blackpool, with Stage Five both starting and finishing in Stoke-on-Trent, via a hard day's racing through the scenic North Staffordshire countryside, including the infamous Gun Hill.
The South West, scene of some of the races biggest crowds in 2008, has two stages in 2009, with Stage Six taking the riders across Exmoor as they pass from Somerset into Devon, on their journey from Frome to Bideford. The penultimate day of the race then sees the peloton retrace its steps, from Hatherleigh in Devon to Yeovil in Somerset, on a gruelling stage that could decide the winner of this year's race.
A spectacular final day of racing will round out the 2009 Tour, as riders tackle the London circuit that opened last year's race which takes in the Houses of Parliament, Victoria Embankments, The Tower of London, and starts and finishes on Whitehall.
Daily ITV coverage
For the second year running full coverage of the race will be televised on ITV, with viewers able to enjoy an hour long nightly highlights show of all the action on ITV4, between 7pm - 8pm, with repeats the following day.
This year's Tour will have a revamped website that is much clearer for users to navigate, and which will feature live rider tracking during the race.
The Prostate Cancer Charity Partnership
The Prostate Cancer Charity is the exclusive charity partner of The Tour of Britain. This partnership is a key element of a new initiative, 'Unite ByCycling', which has been set up to raise awareness of prostate cancer, as well as generate funds to enable the Charity to improve the lives of men affected by the disease, and their families.
John Neate, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "This partnership represents a really exciting new chapter in the life of the Charity and a great opportunity for us to raise awareness and funds and gain support on a local and national level. The Charity is excited to be involved with the fast growing sport of cycling and the UK's premier cycle event. We are also working with the Tour of Britain to announce two further mass participation events in the coming weeks. These events are designed to appeal to all levels of competitiveness, endurance and those just wanting fun and to be a part of The Tour of Britain experience."
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.