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A puncheur’s delight: Your quick guide to the Tour of Britain

Pidcock, Woods, Teuns, Sheffield center stage for eight days of steep climbs and narrow streets at Tour of Britain.

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Lots of hills, little roads, and elite puncheurs.

That’s what will set the tone at the 2022 Tour of Britain.

The race rumbles out of Aberdeen, Scotland, on Sunday for eight days of typically relentless racing that offers a route toward road worlds.

Tom Pidcock, Magnus Sheffield, Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers), Michael Woods, Dylan Teuns (both Israel Premier Tech), Matteo Jorgenson, and Joey Rosskopf (Human Powered Health) are among the headliners for the British tour.

Aussie veteran Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) will bid farewell to pro cycling on British soil next week, while Alex Dowsett will race in the UK for the final time of his career as part of the Israel-Premier Tech sextet.

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A strong U.S. contingent lines up with Sheffield, Jorgenson, Luke Lamperti (Trinity), Conor Schunk (Global 6), and Human Powered Health trio Rosskopf, Stephen Bassett, and Gavin Mannion.

“Typically British roads aren’t the fastest in terms of rolling resistance due to the way they’re built to survive the tough weather conditions,” Human Powered Health rider Matt Gibson said.

“This combined with lots of short steep climbs, narrow twisty roads, and often bad weather creates incredibly challenging racing which is always super exciting to watch.”

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The eight-day British race sits in a stacked section of the late summer schedule. Top squads are scattered across the globe at the Vuelta a España and upcoming Maryland Classic and Canadian Grand Prix races.

Recent champions Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, and Julian Alaphilippe are all absent as they track their own paths toward road worlds.

Riders like Woods, Pidcock, and Sheffield will hunker down for eight days of classics-style racing on tough technical roads as they pedal toward Wollongong via Britain.

“We can start with great ambitions,” Israel-Premier Tech director Zack Dempster said. “Teuns and Woods will be our leaders and we aim for results in stages and in the general classification.”

In the absence of a time trial, summit finishes in stages 1 and 8 could prove decisive in the Tour of Britain’s GC, though a handful of tricky hilly breakaway-type stages could see significant moves and shakes in the race for the red leader’s jersey.