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Tour of Britain to get underway with its strongest-ever field

Three former world champions, five national champions and a bunch of former winners

The organisers of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, which begins on Sunday, claim that this year’s edition boasts its strongest ever line-up of riders – a view that is backed up by

Eight of the website’s top 25 ranked riders will be taking part, with 24 of the 120 riders having won a Grand Tour stage at some point or other.

"I'm excited by the field for this year's OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the stellar line-up of riders that we have here taking part in the Tour,” said race director Mick Bennett.

"I have never known such strength-in-depth from so many teams in the race, particularly Quick-Step Floors, Sky and Dimension Data to name but three.”

Dimension Data bring Mark Cavendish plus two-time race winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (2009 and 2015). Other former winners Dylan Van Baarle (2014) and Lars Boom (2011) are also taking part.

The race can also boast five current national road race champions and three former world champions: Cavendish (2011), Philippe Gilbert (2012) and Michal Kwiatkowski (2014).

Kwiatkowski is joined in the Sky team by Geraint Thomas, who has expressed his enthusiasm at getting to race in Cardiff.

Their team-mate Owain Doull is another from Cardiff, as is BIKE Channel Canyon's Rob Partridge, who will be starting his eleventh Tour of Britain, equalling Kristian House’s record number of participations.

"I'm very proud that the Tour of Britain finishes in Cardiff this year,” he said. "Not only does it finish just 20-minutes from my house but it takes in all my training roads in the finale, from Monmouth to Newport and all the way back into Cardiff.

"Cycling in Wales has just grown from strength to strength over the recent years, and to have a whole crew of Welsh boys at this years' race will be great. I can't wait to get going now, and very much looking forward to racing into Cardiff in front of the huge crowd, along with all my friends and family."

Other riders to watch out for include newly-crowned European road race champion, Alexander Kristoff; world time trial champion, Tony Martin; and European time trial champion, Victor Campenaerts.

The oldest rider in the race is JLT Condor's Russ Downing, at 39 years and 11 days. Three riders are under 20, with Great Britain rider Adam Hartley the youngest at 18 years and 349 days.

The race begins in Edinburgh on Sunday with live coverage on ITV4 from 10.15am, and finishes the following Sunday with the Worcester to Cardiff stage.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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