The Tour Of Britain Kicks Off!
The Tour Of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycling race, kicked off this weekend in Liverpool. The free-to-spectate event was revived in 2004 and has been gaining in popularity over the last decade and has since become one of the most important cycling events on the calendar.
Since the format change in 2008, the five stage race has graduated into a mammoth eight stage competition, with two sprint finishes at the opening and closing stages that certainly dictate the pace of the event. Yesterday’s opening round in Liverpool was full of excitement, even if a British rider failed to win the stage. The opening round was won by German cyclist Marcel Kittel, who trounced the competition in the sprint, leaving Italian rider Nicola Ruffoni to pick up second place and our very own Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish, in third.
This year’s cycling season hasn’t been kind to Britain’s top racers like Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins has had a difficult year but will be looking forward to making the most of the remaining stages after finishing in the petalon; if the reigning Champion wants to win, he’ll have to summon up his tenacity, which he did in California and once again in the Commonwealth Games.
As for Cavendish, it’s fair to say that 2014 has been less than ideal; he hasn’t won any major competitions and was no doubt looking to the Tour Of Britain for a chance of redemption but Marcel Kittel’s appearance may be a spanner in the works.
As expected, Kittel and Cavendish did lock horns during the opening stage but Kittel managed to gain the edge, especially since Cavendish suffered an injury during an incident involving a car earlier on in the stage. Cavendish reported sustaining injuries to his left leg, specifically the quadriceps, after the crash. Despite the injury, Cavendish managed to finish in third place, a valiant effort considering his condition.
Hopefully, the next few stages will offer the Manx Missile the chance he needs to get back on top and once again challenge Marcel Kittel for sprinting dominance.
Following the exciting opening round in Liverpool comes a week of action packed racing, including a mountain stage named ‘The Tumble’ which promises to challenge every rider, whether veteran or newcomer. Including yesterday’s circuit of Liverpool, the length of the Tour Of Britain is a staggering 1349.8 kilometers; a serious distance that will put even the most tenacious riders to the test, especially with the added bonus of an 8.8km long time trial on the final day of the Tour. The rest of the schedule will proceed as follows:
Monday 8th of September – Stage 2: Knowsley to Llandudno, 197km
Tuesday 9th of September – Stage 3: Newton to The Tumble, 150km
Wednesday 10th of September – Stage 4: Worcester to Bristol, 182km
Thursday 11th of September – Stage 5: Exmouth to Exeter, 171km
Friday 12th of September – Stage 6: Bath to Hemel Hempstead, 203km
Saturday 13th of September – Stage 7: Camberley to Brighton, 220km
Sunday 14th of September – Stage 8: London ITT, 8.8km and a further 88 kms around the London circuit too!
Not sure what to look out for? If you’re confused as to which jersey means what, here’s a brief explanation of what each one means:
The Friends Life Yellow Jersey – overall classification leader
Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey – points classification leader
SKODA King of the Mountains Jersey – mountains classification leader
Keep In The Loop
Now you know when it’s on and what to look out for, all that’s left to find out is where to watch it. The remaining stages of the Tour Of Britain will be broadcast live on British Eurosport and ITV4, however, if you can’t access those channels, feel free to check back here on CAMS throughout the week; we’ll be giving stage round ups every few days and keeping you posted on how things are looking. Now sit back, relax, support Wiggins and Cavendish and enjoy the remaining stages of Britain’s premiere cycling event!99999