The Tour of Britain starts in Ipswich on Sunday and in the first of a series of video previews of selected Tour of Britain stages, IG-Sigma Sport's Daniel Lloyd who will be riding the race takes us through what to expect on stages 1 and 2.
Stage 1 is an unsurprisingly flat 199km run across East Anglia that is expected to end in a sprint finish that will give Team Sky’s Mark Cavendish the opportunity to pick up where he left off last year – he won Stage 8b in London, his final race before taking the world championship in Copenhagen. He’ll face competition from riders including Garmin-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar, however.
Stage 2, meanwhile, covers 178km from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park and should again be one for the sprinters, but they’ll have to work for it as the race heads through the Peak District in the first half of the stage. The day sees the first big King of the Mountain climb of this year’s Tour – the winner of that title last year, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke of Endura Racing, will be defending his crown ahead of an expected transfer to a top-tier team for 2013.
Lloyd himself finished 10th overall last year when riding for Garmin-Cervelo and will be back racing his home tour, while Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky as he undertakes a nationwide lap of honour after becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France, going on of course to clinch the Olympic time trial title in London last month.
Missing, however, is last year’s winner, Lars Boom of Rabobank – the Dutch team isn’t participating this year and the 26-year old is himself currently riding in the Vuelta.
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.