All six of Britain’s UCI Continental teams will compete in this year’s Tour of Britain (September 9-16), organiser SweetSpot announced today.
This represents a record number of domestic teams competing since the race returned to the calendar in 2004, and with guaranteed exposure through ITV4′s nightly highlights programme, today’s news will come as a welcome relief to the squads and their sponsors, in particular Rapha-Condor-Sharp.
Their participation seemed in doubt following the decision by co-sponsor Sharp to become the secondary partner of Jonathan Vaughter’s Garmin squad in June.
As reported in last week’s Cycling Weekly, UCI rules state that two teams with the same paying agent cannot compete in the same race.
However, John Herety’s team will now race under the Rapha-Condor name for the remainder of 2012, although Sharp will still be represented on their jerseys.
This year’s race will also be the first Tour of Britain for the fledgling UK Youth squad, who are in their debut year as a UCI-ranked team.
Last week Tour debutantes Liquigas-Cannondale confirmed that two-time Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso will ride for them in this year’s race.
To date, 14 teams have been announced, and race organiser Sweetspot will unveil the final two squads in the next few weeks.
At today’s team launch in Nottingham, they also displayed the race’s new King of the Mountains jersey, which was designed by 14-year-old George Barton-Wood from Surrey.
Tour of Britain 2012: Confirmed teams
An Post-Sean Kelly