The 2012 Tour of Britain gets underway in Ipswich this Sunday and cycling fans will be pleased to know the hero of the Summer, Bradley Wiggins, will be taking part in the eight stage race.
The Tour de France winner and Olympic Time Trial gold medallist, Wiggins, will also be joined in riding for Team Sky by team mate Mark Cavendish. As Chris Froome, who came second in the Tour de France, is currently leading Team Sky in the Vuelta a Espana, the British public won't be able to see the bronze medallist from the Olympic Time Trial in action. What does make it more special for home cycling fans is that Wiggins has decided to cycle the Tour of Britain instead of attending the parade for the Team GB London 2012 medallists.
Having missed out on Olympic gold in the road race last month, Mark Cavendish will be looking to put in a strong performance in front of his home crowd, and with the 2012 Road World Championships taking place the week after the Tour of Britain, the defending World Champion will be looking to travel to the Netherlands in good form.
The first stage is a flat 199.6km route from Ipswich to the Norfolk Showground and this should be perfectly suited to the sprinters in the peloton. Look out for the 'Manx Missile', Cavendish, to make his mark early in the eight day event. Team Sky, with Bernhard Eisel, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees, and Luke Rowe riding alongside Cavendish and Wiggins, will be hoping to have a little more help from the fifteen other teams compared to the efforts the national teams put in at the Olympics, effectively denying the Manxman any shot at a medal. The hills of the Peak District, Scottish borders, the Lake District, and the mountains in Wales will provide a sterner test for the riders as the Tour progresses through the week.
Here is a full schedule for the Tour of Britain:
Sunday 9th September: Ipsiwch to Norfolk Showground - 199.6kms
Monday 10th September: Nottingham to Knowsley - 177.8kms
Tuesday 11th September: Jedburgh to Dumfries - 161.4kms
Wednesday 12th September: Carlisle to Blackpool - 156kms
Thursday 13th September: The Stoke-on-Trent Stage - 146.9kms
Friday 14th September: Welshpool to Caerphilly - 189.8kms
Saturday 15th September: Barnstaple to Dartmouth - 170.7kms
Sunday 16th September: Reigate to Guildford - 147.7kms
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