After all the fuss and nonsense over the Olympic test event, it’s good to know that there’s a world-class spectator-friendly race only a couple of weeks away.

The Tour of Britain starts in Scotland on September 11 with a double bill of racing in central London bringing proceedings to a close seven days later.

After bring sidelined to a circuit in Docklands 12 months ago as a consequence of the Pope’s visit, the UK’s biggest bike race is back on familiar turf in Westminster.

That’s good news and it gets even better with the split stage format offering a 10-kilometre time trial followed by the traditional circuit race on the same Whitehall streets later in the day.

Expect massive crowds along teh route, which includes Big Ben, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament as a backdrop. If you’ve never witnessed a Westminster stage, you’re really missing out on a great, free day of bike racing.

We’ll bring you more news of the latest team signings for the race in next week’s Cycling Weekly magazine with our full race preview in the following issue dated September 8 2011.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly