The eight-day Friends Life Tour of Britain will include the race’s toughest-ever summit finish, a revamped final stage in the heart of London, and a first-ever grand depart in Wales for 2015. Organizers announced the race’s route on Tuesday in London.
Wales has hosted parts of the race since 2010, and this year the race will take in all six regions of North Wales as it heads from Anglesey to Wrexham on stage 1.
Stage 2 returns to the heart of Lancashire for the first time since 2010, with Ribble Valley and Pendle playing host to a stage from Clitheroe to Colne, which will pass through the Forest of Bowland and Dunsop Bridge.
Cockermouth in Cumbria will be the start for the first of two stages to include Scotland, with stage 3 heading through Carlisle, Dumfries & Galloway, and the Scottish Borders to the finish in the grounds of Floors Castle at Kelso.
A second Scottish stage will begin from Holyrood Park in Edinburgh and finish on the coast in Blyth.
Stage 5 will trace Hadrian’s Wall from Prudhoe in Northumberland into Cumbria and the Lake District before finishing atop Hartside Fell in the Pennines. At five miles long and 1,904 feet high, the climb will provide the highest and toughest summit finish in the modern Tour of Britain’s history.
Friday’s stage will join two English cities with the peloton racing from Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, the latter returning to the route for the first time since 2012.
The penultimate stage will be the longest of the Tour of Britain at 225 kilometers, heading from Fakenham in Norfolk to Ipswich in Suffolk, before the final stage in London. The London stage starts and finishes on Regent Street St James.
In total, 11 venues will welcome the modern Friends Life Tour of Britain for the first time in 2015.
“Overall we are absolutely delighted with the course for the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain and believe it offers something for everybody across eight very different stages,” said Mick Bennett, race director.
“Our hope and intention is to again encourage eight days of aggressive, uninhibited racing, the sort of action that we hope is becoming the trademark of the race. We want our national tour to reflect the tough terrain which is part and parcel of our cycling scene in the UK, and to showcase both the race and the British countryside to spectators at the roadside and to the television audience both at home and around the world.”
2015 Tour of Britain stages
Stage 1, September 6: Beaumaris, Anglesey to Wrexham, 177km
Stage 2, September 7: Clitheroe to Colne, 162km
Stage 3, September 8: Cockermouth to Floors Castle, Kelso, 216km
Stage 4, September 9: Edinburgh to Blyth, 218km
Stage 5, September 10: Prudhoe to Hartside Fell, 171km
Stage 6, September 11: Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, 189km
Stage 7, September 12: Fakenham to Ipswich, 225km
Stage 8, September 13: London stage presented by TfL, 93km