John and Tim’s Guide to the Tour of Britain

The 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain features a route tougher than ever before including a summit finish, a grand depart in Wales, and a revamped final stage in London.

Once again, the race has attracted a star line-up who will use the week long event to prepare for the World Championship. The 2.HC UCI race will be the the eighth appearance for the Men In Black, at Britain’s highest ranking stage race.

Team Manager John Herety and rider coach Tim Kennaugh gave us their inside knowledge on the key days and what to expect.
Tim Kennuagh with Richard Handley

Stage 1 Sunday 6 September, Beaumaris Castle – Wrexham – 177km

Starting in the top corner of Wales in the grounds of the stunning castle, the landscapes will be epic. The 177km of rolling roads will take in all six regions of North Wales.

Who to watch

John says “The stage is relatively flat, so we should see the sprinters come out on top. Mark Cavendish will be hungry to get the win in Britain. Russ Downing riding for Cult Energy will be a fast man to watch as will our own sprinter, Ed Clancy.”
Stage 2 Monday 7 Sept, Clitheroe to Colne, Lancashire – 162km

Who to watch:
Tim says “The undulating route could see pure sprinters like Greipel distanced on the approach to the finish. It’s a stage where any riders with GC aspirations need to stay awake. I think a select group of 15-20 will be at the head of the race followed by the peloton.”

Where to watch:
Tim says “This region has hosted the National Championships in the past. If you want to make a day of it head to the climb on Bleara Moor and after the bunch has past hot foot it to the finish in Colne to see who wins the stage.”

Stage 3 Tuesday 8 September, Cockermouth to Floors Castle, Kelso – 216km

Who to watch:
Tim says, “Another day for epic landscapes as the race travels across Hadrian’s wall. This is flat day save for a climb in the final part of the race but an easy run down to the finish. A sprinters day for sure. I say Mark Cavendish will bring this home. Graham Briggs will look to place well here too.”

Where to watch:
John says: “the second category climb in Wauchope forest has marvellous vistas, it is a great place to wait for the race. Head to the Singdean or Saughtree on the Scottish borders.”
Stage 4, Wednesday 9 September, Edinburgh to Blyth, 218km
The second stage in Scotland will see the race head out from Holyrood Park in Edinburgh before heading to the Borders and Northumberland and to the finish on the coast, in Blyth.

Who to watch:

John says, “This will be a key stage. A route along the coast; that means one thing, crosswinds! The weather will certainly play a part in shaping the stage. If there are cross-winds the GC contenders and our man Richard Handley need to be vigilant. I think the race will get split apart and small group will cross the line first.”

Where to watch
Tim says, “The start in Edinburgh will give fans of the race the opportunity to walk amongst the team buses and see their favourite risers presented on stage.
The towns of Wooler, Alnwick and Warkworth are on the coast and the race may come past in groups if the crosswinds affect the bunch. “

Stage 5, Thursday 10 September, Prudhoe to Hartside Fell, 171km

The 171km stage traces along Hadrian’s Wall from Prudhoe in Northumberland into Cumbria and the Lake District before finishing atop Hartside Fell in the Pennines. 

Who to watch:
Tim says “This stage will be where all the action will happen. The final climb is 8km and a tough  finish. It is the highest in the Tour’s history. A breakaway will probably be reeled just before the climb. We’ll see the pure climbers and the GC guys out on the attack. We’ll see former rider Hugh Carthy in the mix and Sky’s Pete Kennaugh. ”

Where to watch:
John says “Get yourself to Hartside Fell, and make as much noise as possible for the riders. But remember to be respectful to those racing.”

Stage 6, Friday 11 September, Stoke to Nottingham, 189km

Who to watch:
John says “There is no let up, although stage 5 is the Queen stage of the race, the route from Stoke to Nottingham features three biting climbs and various nasty lumps over the peaks. It is a windy region too. If the top ten is sorted then a breakaway could get out of sight and survive. Kristian House and Graham Briggs suit this terrain.”

Where to watch:
John says “Wrap up warm because the Peak District can be cold even if its sunny. See the sprint in the town of Buxton then head down the A6 via the village of Bakewell for one of the areas famous Bakewell Tarts and then up onto Beeley Moor or Cromford Hill both are steep climbs.”

Stage 7, Saturday 12 September, Fakenham to Ipswich 227km

The longest stage of 225km on stage 7 from Fakenham to Ipswich. There will be big screens and an event village set up at the finish in Ipswich, a perfect day for families.

John says “Flat as a pancake. I think we’ll see plenty of people trying to get into the days breakaway for TV airtime. But it is this has the hallmarks of a Cavendish versus Griepel sprint showdown.”

Stage 8, London, 93km

A new route, starting and finishing on Regent Street St James, will take in the likes of Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Strand and Whitehall over multiple laps, giving spectators a great chance to see the world’s best riders in their capital city.

Racing begins at 15.00 on Regents St and there will be big screens and an event village to add to the grand finale of the days racing.

Can’t make it to the race? Watch it on ITV1, ITV4 and British Eurosport:

Sunday 6 September, Stage One, Beaumaris to Wrexham – LIVE 1pm on ITV / Highlights 10pm

Monday 7 September, Stage Two, Clitheroe to Colne – LIVE 1pm on ITV4 / Highlights 8pm

Tuesday 8 September, Stage Three, Cockermouth to Kelso – LIVE 1pm on ITV4 / Highlights at 8pm

Wednesday 9 September, Stage Four, Edinburgh to Blyth – LIVE 1pm on ITV4 / Highlights at 8pm

Thursday 10 September, Stage Five, Prudhoe to Hartside – LIVE 1pm on ITV4 / Highlights at 8pm

Friday 11 September, Stage Six, Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham – LIVE 1pm on ITV4 / Highlights at 8pm

Saturday 12 September, Stage Seven, Fakenham to Ipswich – LIVE 1pm on ITV4 / Highlights 8pm

Sunday 13 September, Stage Eight, London – LIVE 3pm on ITV4 / Highlights 8pm

    As well as all of the coverage on ITV, you’ll also be able to watch every stage LIVE on British Eurosport as well as the highlights of all the action.

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