Posted on: 23 July 2012
As Bradley Wiggins celebrates becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France, records are also set to be broken in September’s Tour of Britain with more British teams taking part than ever before.
Tour organisers Sweetspot Group have revealed that Team Sky will be joined by six other British teams. They are Endura Racing, Team IG–Sigma Sport, Rapha Condor, Team Raleigh–GAC, Node4–Giordana Racing, and Team UK Youth.
It will be a debut Tour of Britain for Team UK Youth, who recently helped launch the Devon Stage of The Tour. The team includes 1998 Tour de France stage winner Magnus Backstedt and Yanto Barker, from Totnes, who was the top British finisher in the Tour of Britain in 2005.
Devon County Council will host Stage Seven of The Tour of Britain, which will be the penultimate stage of the race, on Saturday 15 September. This year’s Devon stage will cover 106 miles (170.7km) of the county, starting in Barnstaple and heading through Dartmoor National Park on its way to finishing in Dartmouth.
Last year was the first time an entire stage of The Tour had been held in Devon, having previously shared stages with Somerset since 2008. More than 125,000 spectators watched the race from Exeter to Exmouth, via Dartmoor, bringing more than £3 million into the county’s economy on the day.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “It has been an incredible achievement by Bradley Wiggins to win the Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France and for Britain to have had its most successful Tour ever with Chris Froome finishing second and winning a stage, and Mark Cavendish and David Millar winning stages as well. This is a great opportunity for our country to really embrace cycling and to get more people on their bikes.
“It’s encouraging to see that British teams will be so well represented at The Tour of Britain too, particularly in this Olympic year. Hopefully there’ll be more cycling success to come in London and that we will also see a few Olympic medallists and some of our Tour de France heroes racing in Devon come September. The Tour of Britain is a chance for dozens of our communities to share in this incredible spectacle, and for our local economy to receive a welcome boost. As the race takes in so much of the county it’s a chance to showcase Devon to a worldwide audience.”
Yanto Barker, of Team UK Youth, said: “After the incredible success by Bradley and Team Sky at The Tour I’m very excited to be participating in the biggest British road race, The Tour of Britain, and competing against the best in the world on home roads with my Team UK Youth.”
The Grand Depart of The Tour of Britain 2012 will take place in Ipswich on Sunday 9 September, with the final stage in Guildford on Sunday 16 September.
The Devon stage of Britain’s biggest free-to-watch sporting event includes three Skoda King of the Mountains climbs at South Hill, near Little Torrington, as well as Merrivale and Coffin Stone within Dartmoor National Park. There will also be intermediate Yodel Sprints at Great Torrington, Slapton Ley and Kingsbridge.
Race Director Mick Bennett said: “This year more than any other there is a pressure to perform in front of home crowds on the British teams in The Tour of Britain. For the domestic teams this is their one major opportunity to race against world-class opposition on home roads making it a major aim for them and their sponsors. For those without a major European programme of racing to prepare for The Tour of Britain there will be a big step up to racing against World Tour opposition, but we are confident that they will continue to acquit themselves well.”
Other squads announced to be competing in The Tour are Liquigas– Cannondale, who have named former Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso in their provisional line-up, Garmin Sharp, Orica Greenedge, Vacansoleil DCM, Team NetApp, United Healthcare Pro Cycling, and AN Post Sean Kelly.