Tour of Britain 2009: route unveiled
The 2009 Tour of Britain will start in Scunthorpe and finish eight days later with a criterium in London this September.
The route of the sixth edition of the race was announced today at the Transport Museum in London.
Most of the start and finish towns were named, although details of the roads to be used each day will be released nearer the time.
The exact hills to be used in the King of the Mountains competition are also still to be disclosed, although we do know the race will be going over Exmoor on stage six.
As in previous years there are significant transfers between the stages, as the race features stages in Yorkshire, the north east, Scotland, the north west plus two days in the West Country.
The Prostate Cancer Charity is the event's new partner, although Eon, who sponsored the KOM competition last year, have pulled out.
The race will be shown on ITV4.
Stage 1, Scunthorpe - York (172km) - flat stage
Stage 2, Darlington - Gateshead (157km) - flat
Stage 3, Scottish Borders - Dumfries & Galloway (170km) - hilly
Stage 4, Northwest - Blackpool (160km) - rolling
Stage 5, Stoke on Trent - Stoke on Trent (135km) - toughest stage yet (includes Gunhill)
Stage 6, Frome - Bideford (187km) - hilly
Stage 7, Hatherleigh - Yeovil (159km) - Queen stage
Stage 8, London - London (92km) - flattish 9km criterium
The route of the 2009 Tour of Britain
Whilst the announcement of the route of the 2009 Tour of Britain was unveiled with great fanfare in Covent Garden's London Transport Museum, Cycling Weekly left with more questions than answers.
The occasion was billed as launch of the route itself, although no details of the exact route were given aside from the start and finish towns.
A possible extension to nine days was hinted at for 2010, whilst the final London stage will now finish in Whitehall, outside Downing street.
The inclusion of the LPR and Rock Racing teams that courted a great deal of controversy last year may be repeated again this year with the race organisers failing to answer the question directly about whether they would be included.
As with previous editions, the long transfers between stages remain, with the 154-mile transfer from Stoke-on-Trent to Frome looking the most arduous.
2008 Geoffroy Lequatre (France) Agritubel
2007 Romain Feillu (France) Agritubel
2006 Martin Pedersen (Denmark) CSC
2005 Nick Nuyens (Belgium) Quick Step
2004 Mauricio Ardila (Colombia) Chocolade Jacques