Organisers of the Tour of Britain have announced details of this year’s Tour Ride line-up, enabling entrants to the sportives to ride the same roads as the pros in four of the stages that will feature in September’s race – those in Scotland, Wales, East Anglia and Stoke-on-Trent – with a fifth ride also tying in with the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
The five rides provide diverse terrain, ranging from the climbs of Caerphilly Mountain on the Welsh leg or Gun Hill in Staffordshire to the flat landscape of East Anglia for those of you who are more rouleur than grimpeur.
Registration is now open for all five rides, the first of which, on Sunday 22 July, runs 200km from Ipswich to the Norfolk Showground. The Tour Ride Wales on 12 August starts and finishes at Caerphilly Castle, while the Scottish event, on 26 August, is based around Dumfries.
The Stoke-on-Trent ride, which has attracted 2,000 riders in each of the past two years, will be held on Sunday 23 September, a week after the Tour of Britain itself finishes in Guildford.
Sunday 30 September sees the fifth and final ride from the NEC in Birmingham, coinciding with the Cycle Show with participants gaining 50 per cent off admission and car parking, and the event also ties in with the Summer of Cycling initiative.
Each ride will be supported by neutral service provider Specialized plus National Escort Group motorcycle outriders, while routes include full and half-distance options, and there will also be shorter family rides in Scotland and East Anglia. Feeding stations will be stocked with products from official suppliers Maxifuel, Highland Spring and Soreen.
Full details of all the events, including how to register, can be found on the Tour Ride website.
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.