20 Teams for Tour of Britain 2018 announced
Devon crowds will have the chance to see 11 of the UCI’s (Union Cycliste Internationale) top level WorldTour teams race compete in the Tour of Britain this September.
The final list of 20 teams for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain has now been confirmed and it includes the four British UCI Continental teams that have qualified for the UK’s most prestigious cycle race.
Stage 2 of the race will take place on Monday September 3. It is hosted by Devon County Council, supported by East Devon District Council and North Devon Council and working with Cranbrook Town Council and Barnstaple Town Council.
Starting in Cranbrook, East Devon, the race covers 174km (108miles) of stunning countryside across East Devon, Mid Devon and North Devon before finishing in the historic estuary town of Barnstaple.
JLT Condor, ONE Pro Cycling, Madison Genesis and Canyon Eisberg will join the list of the world’s top teams and riders.
The first of those to qualify, JLT Condor, have competed in every edition of the Tour since 2007 and have twice had riders claim the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey.
Canyon Eisberg are the reigning OVO Energy Tour Series champions, and feature Commonwealth Games medalists Charlie and Harry Tanfield in their line-up, while Madison Genesis hit the headlines at the end of June when 22-year-old Connor Swift claimed the British road race title.
ONE Pro Cycling return to the race for fourth year running, having won the race’s SKODA King of the Mountains and Sprints jerseys courtesy of Pete Williams in their debut 2015 season.
Also confirmed for the race are Team Sunweb, who will be one of 11 UCI WorldTour teams racing in Britain’s this September. The German squad last appeared in the race in 2016 when Tom Dumoulin finished third overall.
In total 13 teams who are currently competing in the Tour de France will be racing in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, including all the UCI WorldTour teams plus UCI ProContinental squads Direct Energie and Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
In addition, two further UCI ProContinental teams will take part: Aqua Blue Sport from Ireland, who make their race debut, and Italy’s Bardiani-CSF, who have previously won two stages in Britain’s most prestigious race.
A Great Britain national team will once again compete in the event, showcasing the very best talent from the next generation of British cycling stars.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep, taking place between Sunday 2 and Sunday 9 September 2018.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways with a remit for cycling said: “It’s shaping up to be another exciting Devon stage and we’re expecting huge crowds right along the route.
“Now the teams have been announced over the next few weeks we are sure to see some of the biggest names in professional cycling throw their hats in to the ring.
"With the race going almost the full length of the county there will be plenty of opportunity for people along the route to see these world class cyclists in action, while enjoying a day out in Devon.”
Race Director Mick Bennett said: "Having fought hard throughout the season to qualify for the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, I am delighted to welcome Canyon Eisberg, JLT Condor, Madison Genesis and ONE Pro Cycling back to the race.
“These four teams are extremely worthy in their place in the UK’s most prestigious cycle race and, as the likes of Harry Tanfield and Connor Swift have already proved this season, our domestic teams can more than hold their own against the world’s biggest and best teams. I have no doubt that they’ll be in the thick of the action across all eight days in September.”
North Devon Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones said: “We are delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain teams to North Devon, and look forward to the excitement this iconic race will bring to our beautiful district. We hope our local communities will get involved and help celebrate the amazing talent passing through our towns and villages.”
Councillor Tom Wright, East Devon District Council's Cabinet Member for Environment said: “It is great news that the Tour of Britain will have many international stars taking part. It is also great news that Stage 2 starts in England’s newest town of Cranbrook here in East Devon and the route to Barnstaple will showcase the beautiful and varied countryside we all enjoy.”