The Tour of Britain has been used as a preparation race for the World Championships, but it looks like the big names have realised it’s very difficult to win this race and win the rainbow jersey. The stages are deceptively hard, there’s a lot of transfers and the weather can be a bit on the dodgy side. This means that we’ve got a different looking start list this year, it’s possible we see some younger riders step forward and challenge for stages and GC.
We start up in Scotland and a finish up at Glenshee ski centre. It might be classed as a mountain finish, but it’s much easier than you would think. The final climb is only 3.3km at 5.4%, we should see an uphill sprint, but the weather will make it a selective day.
The bunch move down to the Borders in Scotland, for a stage that should end in a slightly reduced bunch sprint. The finale is tricky but most of the sprinters should survive.
The race heads to the north-east of England and it should be a big sprint finish, but some will be keeping a close eye on the weather.
As the riders head down the east coast of England, they are faced with lots of little hills to deal with. Two categorised climbs in the final 30km should get the GC riders out to play, this is a tough finish and one that could have a say in the outcome of the race.
The race moves to the centre of England and this one should be another big sprint.
This stage is very close to the Welsh border and it’s another with two climbs close to the finish. The start of the stage will interest the breakaway riders, this could be a good day for the attackers.
We’re now all the way down on the south coast of England, and this is another big sprint, it should be a good edition for the sprinters.
The final stage is all the way down on the Isle of Wight, the first time I can remember a race of this magnitude go there. It’s an up and down type of day, and one last chance for the GC riders to make a difference.
Lots and lots of rain.
Tom Pidcock – starts as the overwhelming favourite, and rightly so. The young Englishman is here to get ready for the world championships, but Ineos always want to win their home race. The route is a good one for Pidcock, his sprint is very fast, and he should be able to pick up bonus seconds throughout the week. Ineos have the strongest team by some distance, they’ll dictate the type of race we’ll get.
Magnus Sheffield – provides a solid back-up option for Ineos, he was very impressive in the Tour of Denmark. The American doesn’t have the same kick as Pidcock, but he could benefit from them having multiple numbers in the front group.
Matteo Jorgenson – after a very successful Tour de France, he now sets his sights on the remainder of the season. He’s been back in American, training at altitude, and hopes to be good in this race. He impressed here last year, and he should enjoy the route this time round.
Connor Swift – he headlines the Team GB at this race, he’d love to put on a show on home soil. Rumour has it he’ll be off to join Ineos next year, this would be the perfect race to show everyone why they’ve signed him. I wouldn’t say the route was perfect for him, but you’ve got to deal with what you’ve been given.
Dylan Teuns – Israel – Premier Tech are in desperate need of points, but his recent form isn’t anything to write home about. On the plus side, the route is very good for him, if he’s close to 100%, he should be challenging for several stages.
Anthon Charmig – the big Norwegian has had a good first season at this level, but as he was very strong in February, I have a worry that he won’t have much left in the tank.
Felix Großschartner – was way off the pace in the Deutschland Tour, I’m not sure he’s got the legs.
Oscar Onley – at long last I’ve got a Scottish cyclist to write about. He comes from the Borders, so he’ll have a big interest in the second stage, but I also hope he has enough to challenge for a strong GC spot. He’s still just 19, so going up against seasoned pros will be hard, but I’ll certainly be cheering him on.
I can’t see anyone getting close to Ineos in this race, but which of their riders will take home the title? I’ll take a win for Tom Pidcock.