"This will definitely be the most challenging Tour of Britain yet," according to race director, Mick Bennett and looking at today's route announcement it's hard to argue.
This year's race which starts on Sunday 15th September in Peebles and finishes on Sunday the 22nd in London will take riders to Cumbria and the Lake District, Snowdonia, Dumfries and Galloway, the Devon Moors, and what's sure to be an up and down stage through Surrey on the way to a finishing circuit in Central London.
On the way they will race over the longest stage in the race's history a 225Km battle through the heart of Cumbria culminating in an uphill finish in Kendall, on stage 2. Stage 3 follows that up with the longest individual time trial the race has run in the 10 year's since British Cycling and Sweet Spot revived it. Stage 4 takes the race across the middle of the country from Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis in Wales, before stage 5 treats racers to a double helping of Caerphilly mountain - which proved such a spectacle last year.
Stage 6 may well prove one of the most decisive of the week with last year's winner Jonathan Tiernan Locke, racing over home roads from Sidmouth in Devon to the Tour's first ever summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor. After that there's a 150km blast through Surrey from Epsom to Guildford which should still have enough ups and downs to keep things interesting - especially if the Guildford finish is the same as last year's before the race heads to Central London for what's always an exciting finale.
Announcing the route Bennett said that the aim was to produce a challenging race and to ensure that it stayed an open and competitive spectacle from start to finish.
“We have several unique features and are very excited about the inclusion of our first ever summit finish. Our longest ever time trial balances the course and will ensure that for spectators at the roadside and at home on television The Tour of Britain is a thrilling battle throughout.”
The route of the 2013 Tour of Britain:
Sunday 15th Sept Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle 201km
Monday 16th Sept Cumbria, The Lake District Stage, Carlisle to Kendal 225km
Tuesday 17th Sept Knowsley Individual Time Trial 16km
Wednesday 18th Sept Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis 190.9km
Thursday 19th Sept Machynlleth to Caerphilly 177.1km
Friday 20th Sept Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor 137km
Saturday 21st Sept Epsom to Guildford 150.4km
Sunday 22nd Sept The London Stage, presented by TfL 88km
To find out more visit www.thetour.co.uk
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.