Tour of Britain route unveiled
Tour of Britain organisers have unveiled their 2011 route with the peloton visiting England, Scotland and Wales for the first time in the same race.
This year's edition, which will feature 16 teams of six riders, will cover 1,235 kilometres over eight days and will conclude with a double stage in central London - an individual time trial and an 80km criterium.
The race will roll out of Peebles in Scotland on Sunday September 11th, while the penultimate stage, from Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham, will be the longest, at 200km, since stage one in 2004.
This year's race features six new venues - Welshpool, Caerphilly, Exeter, Exmouth, Wells and Sandringham - while riders will return to Dumfries, Kendal and Taunton, which last hosted four years ago.
Previous editions of the Tour of Britain have been dominated by sprinters but several stages this year will test the legs of the climbers.
Stage three will take in the hilly Staffordshire moorlands while the following day the peloton will do battle in the Brecon Beacons and on Caerphilly Mountain, while Dartmoor and a climb of Cheddar Gorge features in stage six.
"We are very excited about the route for the 2011 Tour of Britain, particularly with the inclusion of the final day time trial in the very heart of London," said race director Mick Bennett.
"Anyone who remembers the crowds who flocked to see the Tour de France prologue in 2007 will know what to expect and look forward to this September.†
"After the success of the 2010 Tour of Britain we are pleased to unveil another tough and demanding route that visits England, Scotland and Wales, making it a true Tour of Britain."