The 2009 Tour of Britain starts on Saturday, September 12, in Scunthorpe before embarking on eight stages, finishing with a criterium around Westminster, London, on Saturday, September 19.

This year’s UCI 2.1-ranked ToB looks set to be one of the best yet since it’s rejuvenation six years ago. Both team list and stage profiles promise to provide an exciting mix of racing.

Last year’s race was won by Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), who returns to defend his crown against some stiff competition. Among them will be last year’s runner-up Steve Cummings. The British Barloworld rider lost to Lequatre by just five seconds.

There’s no doubt, though, that many British fans will turn out at the roadside to watch Bradley Wiggins. The British star placed fourth in this year’s Tour de France and heads up Garmin-Slipstream’s ToB team.

Also watch out for many riders who will be riding under the colours of Team Sky next year: not least 2008 triple ToB stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen who leads Columbia-HTC in the absence of Mark Cavendish, currently riding the Tour of Missouri in America.

There’s no individual time trial in the 2009 ToB, so the racing will be close. The overall classification will likely take shape in the tough Scottish and northern stages (two to four) and then shaken up in the two stages in the West Country (six and seven) that feature challenging courses after a hard week of action.

Some long transfers between stages remain for the riders – and fans following the race – but it’s a much more joined-up route than previous editions.

The final stage (eight) around Westminster is more of a showcase than a way of deciding the overall winner. In any case, it is a spectacle worth making the trip to watch, with the riders passing many world-famous London landmark on their way to the race’s conclusion.

Full 2009 Tour of Britain start list>>


Cycling Weekly will be posting news updates, race reports, photo galleries, interviews and analysis throughout the Tour of Britain here on www.cyclingweekly.co.uk.

Tour of Britain 2009: The stages

A full preview of the route can be found in Cycling Weekly magazine, September 10 issue.

Stage 1: Scunthorpe-York, 172.6km – won by Chris Sutton

Stage 2: Darlington-Newcastle Gateshead, 153.3km – won by Kai Reus

Stage 3: Peebles-Gretna Green, 153.8km – won by Edvald Boasson Hagen

Stage 4: Blackpool-Blackpool, 148km – won by Edvald Boasson Hagen

Stage 5: Britannia Stadium-Stoke on Trent, 134km – won by Edvald Boasson Hagen

Stage 6: Frome-Bideford, 183.7km – won by Edvald Boasson Hagen

Stage 7: Hatherleigh-Yeovil, 159.7km – won by Ben Swift

Stage 8: Westminster, London, 92.5km – won by Michele Merlo

Tour of Britain route 2009

Tour of Britain 2009: The teams 

17 teams and 102 riders make up this year’s start sheet. It’s a heady mix of ProTour, Professional Continental and the best of British.

Ag2r-La Mondial

Agritubel

Barloworld

CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta

Cervelo Test Team

Columbia-HTC

CSF Group-Navigare

Euskaltel-Euskadi

Garmin-Slipstream

Halfords Bikehut

ISD-Neri

Joker-Bianchi

Katusha

Rabobank

Rapha-Condor

Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator

Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team

Tour of Britain 2009: TV schedule

Tour of Britain highlights will be aired on ITV4 the evening after each of the eight stages from 7-8pm (September 12-19), with repeats the following day.

Geoffroy Lequatre, overall winner 2008

Tour of Britain: Previous winners

2008: Geoffroy Lequatre (France)

2007: Romain Feillu (France)

2006: Martin Pedersen (Denmark)

2005: Nick Nuyens (Belgium)

2004: Mauricio Ardila (Colombia)

Tour of Britain 2009: Related links



News



Brits set the pace during stage six



Wilkinson battered after stage four



Wiggins quits ToB to focus on TT World Champs



Downing in the mix after magical adjustment



Lapthorne goes on the attack and into the spotlight



Tour of Britain goes mad for Wiggins



Downing aiming high in Tour of Britain



Can a British rider win the Tour of Britain?



British pros head home to fight for Worlds places



Halfords hit the Tour of Britain



Rapha-Condor names Tour of Britain squad



Cavendish to miss Tour of Britain



Katusha and Rabobank announce Tour of Britain teams



Tour of Britain and Tour Series on ITV4



Tour of Britain 2009 route unveiled

Stage reports

Stage eight: Boasson Hagen wins overall

Stage seven: Swift takes stage to Yeovil

Stage six: Boasson Hagen makes it four

Stage five: Boasson Hagen takes control

Stage four: Boasson Hagen makes it two

Stage three: Hagen does it again

Stage two: Dutchman Reus wins second stage at Tour of Britain

Stage one: Sutton wins opening stage of ToB

Photo galleries



Stage six: Photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage two: Photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage one: Photo gallery by Andy Jones

Guide and info



Tour of Britain 2009: Start list

External links



Tour of Britain official website