The Tour of Britain, Stages 1 – 4

This Sunday sees the start of the Tour of Britain 2013, the UK’s premier Cycling event. 8 days racing across Scotland, Wales and England culminating in a street race around central London on Sunday 22nd. As well as being great sporting spectacles, cycling tours such as the Tour of Britain or Tour De France are great advertisements for the places they pass through. Here is a rundown of the eight days racing, where best to see the action and a few highlights along the route.

TourofBrit

With Britain’s Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins competing interest is sure to be high and millions of spectators are expected to line the route across the eight days.

Stage 1 Scotland  –  Sunday 15th Sep

Start – Peebles 10:30   Finish – Drumlanrig Castle 15:15-16:15

Drumlanrig

Drumlanrig will be a fitting venue for the finish of Stage one where fans will be hoping for a Cavendish victory. Photo © Allan Gourlay CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The first days ride begins in Peebles and loops down through the Scottish Borders before culminating at Dumfries and Galloway’s magnificent Drumlanrig Castle.

Drumlanrig Castle will be a good place to watch the finale of this first stage. There is a good chance of a bunch sprint which Cavendish will be hoping to win. A British winner on the first day would be the prefect start. A bonus of attending Drumlanrig for the race is the culmination of Flavour Fortnight also taking place there. A celebration of the region’s famous local produce.

Visit – www.flavourfortnight.co.uk

Stage 2 Cumbria  –  Monday 16th Sep

Start – Carlisle 10:45   Finish – Kendal 15:30

Honister Pass

The Honister Pass promises some of the toughest racing and best views for spectators of the whole tour. Photo © Joe Dunckley CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Stage two sees the tour enter England and take in the magnificent Lake District for some epic riding scenery and the first climbing of the race.

The big climb at the Honister Pass will make for good viewing, the steep gradient forcing the riders to slow down significantly. You will get to enjoy a slower and more extended view of the riders as they struggle up the hill. While you are here the Lake District National Park is a heaven for lovers of the outdoors. With more than 3,500 kilometres of rights of way, you can walk, cycle and ride around the beautiful countryside to your heart’s content. Not forgetting the many lakes and plentiful coastline for boating, kayaking and fishing.

Visit: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk

Stage 3 Knowsley, Time Trial  –  Tuesday 17th Sep

Start – Knowsley Safari Park 12:00   Finish – Knowsley Safari Park 14:15

Wiggins

Who can forget Wiggins’ Time Trial victory at the Olympics last summer. Today may be the last chance to see the master at work. Photo © EEPaul CC BY 2.0

Stage three around Knowsley is and ‘Individual Time Trial’ meaning each rider rides alone against the clock around the same circuit. This stage is a great for the spectator as the riders will be coming past one every couple of minutes, thus extending the entertainment.

Good places to watch lie along Knowsley Lane (B5194) where the riders will be going past twice. This stage will also be a good opportunity to cheer on Sir Bradley Wiggins going for the win. With him announcing that he is to quit road racing in favour of the track it will be one of the last chances to see one of the best Time-Trial riders in the World.

Stage 4 North Wales  –  Wednesday 18th Sep

Start – Stoke-on-Trent 10:45   Finish – Llanberis 15:00

CyclingClimbing

The Pen Y Pass will be tough going for the riders but should provide some fireworks as they battle for the stage win. Photo © thornypup CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Stage Four begins in Stoke-on-Trent and heads into North Wales towards Snowdonia where in finishes in Llanberis.

The best place to watch today will be the Pen Y Pass in Snowdonia where the riders will most likely attack each other up the climbs in a bid to break away and win the stage. There should be some good action here. Stoke-on-Trent is not to be ignored as a venue though. If the fierce action of the Tour is getting too much then perhaps Stoke-on-Trent can offer an historic and cultural breather. The ‘World Capital of Ceramics’ boasts some of the finest potteries in the World and the city is ripe with its heritage.

Visit: http://www.visitstoke.co.uk/potteries

You can find out more on each stage of the tour at http://www.tourofbritain.co.uk

Come back in a few days for the final four stages