Strongest ever field confirmed for Tour of Britain
Three of the world’s top five-ranked riders will be competing in Devon this Monday. (3 September).
The 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the fifteenth edition of the modern race, will feature its strongest ever field.
The Tour starts on Sunday September 2 – the Devon Stage 2 takes place on Monday September 3 and is being hosted by Devon County Council and supported by East Devon District Council and North Devon Council, starting in Cranbrook and finishing in Barnstaple.
Britain’s most successful Grand Tour rider Chris Froome (reigning world number two) and his Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas (world number five) headline the start list, having claimed overall victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de France respectively.
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors, world number four) will make his debut in the race, having won two stages of this year’s Tour de France and the race’s prestigious King of the Mountains jersey.
He has only previously raced once in Britain, finishing third in the 2014 edition of Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
The start list also features Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Team LottoNL-Jumbo, fourth overall in this year’s Tour de France), Colombian Fernando Gaviria and Germany’s Max Schachmann (both Quick-Step Floors), all of whom have won Grand Tour stages in 2018.
Gaviria has previously enjoyed success in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, claiming stage wins in Blythe in 2015 and Newark-on-Trent last year.
Also among the starters are former OVO Energy Tour of Britain stage victors André Greipel (Lotto Soudal, five wins), Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-SCOTT, four), Wout Poels (Team Sky, three), Mark Renshaw (Team Dimension Data, two), Alex Dowsett (Team KATUSHA ALPECIN, one), Ben Swift (Great Britain, one) Ian Stannard (Team Sky, one) and Tony Martin (Team KATUSHA
The startlist also features two current national road race champions, including British champion Connor Swift (Madison Genesis), who is relishing the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue jersey in the eight-day race.
Connor’s Exeter-born teammate George Pym will also be competing in his second Tour of Britain.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management with responsibility for cycling said: “The line-up this year for the Tour of Britain is unprecedented with three of the world’s top five racing and add to that local interest from Exeter’s George Pym.
“Every year the race grows in stature – it’s promises to be the best Devon Stage ever held!”