Nine of the world’s best cycling teams will be racing through Northumberland in September after the line-up for the Aviva Tour of Britain was announced today.
Headlining the 20-team list are Team Cannondale Garmin, which won the 2014 Tour of Britain with Dylan Van Baarle, and the Etixx Quick-Step team of Mark Cavendish and World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski. Top-level British interests are represented by Team Sky, which has just won the Tour de France for the third time in four years.
The other six UCI WorldTeams that will race are BMC Racing, IAM Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Team Lotto NL Jumbo and Tinkoff – Saxo. Those nine, plus MTN Qhubeka, have been in action in the Tour de France, winning 13 of the 21 stages, and will line-up with six-rider squads in Beaumaris on Anglesey for Stage One on Sunday, September 6.
On Wednesday, September 9, they will enter Northumberland from Scotland and travel through the likes of Wooler and Alnwick before heading to the stage finish at Blyth. Thursday’s stage also predominantly takes place in the county.
“This is undoubtedly the strongest line-up of teams to have appeared in the Aviva Tour of Britain,” said Mick Bennett, race director. “The Aviva Tour of Britain presents a fantastic opportunity for British fans to see what will be the best line-up of teams and riders to race in this country this year.
“In 2014, we saw Michal Kwiatkowski, Sir Bradley Wiggins and the BMC Racing Team all go on to win world titles immediately after the race and are sure that this year’s Tour will provide an equal platform for riders going on to target the World Championships.”
Three squads, ONE Pro Cycling, co-owned by former England cricketer Matt Prior, Team WIGGINS, the personal team of Sir Bradley Wiggins, and Cult Energy will make their Aviva Tour of Britain debuts this September. They will also be joined by two further UCI ProContinental teams – MTN Qhubeka and Team Novo Nordisk.
Last week, we reported that residents are being asked to donate or decorate unwanted bikes to help turn the county red and yellow for the race.