Teams announce line-ups as Tour of Britain prepares to head to Nottinghamshire
Team Sky have confirmed their full OVO Energy Tour of Britain team, with Vasil Kiryienka, Ian Stannard and Lukasz Wisniowski lining up for the race which begins in Wales on Sunday.
The trio will join Wout Poels, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas on the start line at Pembrey Country Park on Sunday for the eight-stage test which ends in London on September 9.
Kiryienka returns to the Tour of Britain after enjoying a third-placed finish in the Tendring time trial in 2017, and the Belarusian National time trial champion will be using the race as preparation for the World Championships.
Stannard will bring a wealth of experience in this race, having finished third overall in 2008 and winning a memorable stage in 2016 at Tatton Park, Knutsford, while Wisniowski is making his second Tour of Britain appearance.
Froome last raced the Tour of Britain in 2009 and is relishing the prospect of returning.
He said: “It’s been a long time since I’ve raced the Tour of Britain. The Vuelta a Espana has always been such a big goal and sadly coincided with the Tour of Britain, but not doing La Vuelta this year gives me the chance to come back to the UK and race on what looks like a great parcours.
“I’m really looking forward to riding. I always remember there being a great atmosphere at the Tour of Britain and the race has only got bigger over the years. I’m really looking forward to coming back.”
Yesterday, it was confirmed that Team WIGGINS will also take part in the race.
The British UCI Continental team have been added to the line-up for Britain’s most prestigious race following the withdrawal of Aqua Blue Sport, and have named a roster featuring some of Britain and Ireland’s hottest talents.Leading the team will be 19-year-old Tom Pidcock, current Junior World Time Trial Champion and multiple cyclo-cross champion, and 22-year old Gabriel Cullaigh, who won the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic this Spring, one of only two single-day UCI-level races in the UK.Both riders have been in excellent form domestically, each taking an race win during the OVO Energy Tour Series, while Pidcock also claimed victory in the East Klondike GP round of the HSBC UK Spring Cup Series.Irish pairing Matthew Teggart and Mark Downey (both 22) will arrive at the race having competed in the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir for Ireland last week. The latter recorded two top-10 stage finishes, including second on the hilly Stage Six to Cérilly.Completing the line-up will be 20-year-olds Joey Walker, son of former Milk Race winner Chris, and New Zealander James Fouché, both of whom will be making their debuts in the race.The team have twice before participated in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, with Owain Doull finishing third overall and winning the Points Classification in 2015.Commenting on the news, Pidcock said: "I'm delighted to have an opportunity to ride in the Tour of Britain with WIGGINS. Obviously the team has a strong affiliation with the race, with Sir Brad being a former winner and Owain's impressive ride in 2015. "I am really looking forward to mixing it up against some of the big UCI WorldTour teams again. Riding in front of British fans is always a great experience and hopefully our team can give them plenty to cheer about over the course of the race."
Stage seven of the Tour will see riders race from West Bridgford to Mansfield on Saturday, September 8. En route, they will pass through areas such as Worksop, Newstead Village, Hucknall, Watnall, Underwood and Annesley.