Tour of Britain

3rd -10th September 2017

Friends Life Tour of Britain
Friends Life Tour of Britain
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Stage 5
  • Stage 6
  • Stage 7
  • Stage 8
Clear blue skies and large crowds waved The Tour of Britain away from Ipswich's Waterfront on its way to the Norfolk Showground for Stage One of the 2012 race.

Massive crowds lined the route through Norfolk and Suffolk to cheer on an early breakaway, including former British Champion Kristian House. When the break was caught however the expected bunch sprint didn't emerge, as World Champion Mark Cavendish was caught up in a final kilometre crash that allowed his teammate Luke Rowe to escape to victory.

Rowe won the diminished sprint ahead of Dutchmen Boy Van Poppel to take the win and the IG Gold Jersey of race leader after Stage One.

1 Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling
2 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
3 Russell Downing (GBr) Endura Racing

After a six year absence The Tour of Britain returned to Nottingham, with Stage Two starting outside the city's famous castle before heading across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and briefly Lancashire on its way to the Knowsley Safari Park finish.

The tough early part of the stage through the Peak District National Park gave way to the flatter roads of the Cheshire Plain with the stage coming back together for an exciting bunch sprint within the grounds of Knowsley Safari Park.

Boxed in on the run to the line, for the second day running Mark Cavendish was denied victory as Orica's Leigh Howard pipped him on the line, with third placed Boy Van Poppel inheriting the race leader's IG Gold Jersey.

1 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling
3 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling

Scotland was once again the perfect stage for Mark Cavendish as the Manx Missile opened up his Tour of Britain account in Dumfries for the second year in succession.

Starting from outside's Jedburgh's Abbey in the heart of the Scottish Borders the route headed through some of The Tour's most beautiful scenery on its way to Dumfries and a Yodel Sprint on the first passage of the line.

After completing a 30-kilometre loop of the Dumfries & Galloway countryside it was back to Dumfries Whitesands for the stage finish, and just as 12-months previously it was Cavendish who came out on top, sprinting clear of the Orica GreenEDGE duo of Leigh Howard and Aidis Kruopis, with the former becoming the third race leader in three days.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling
2 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE
3 Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica GreenEDGE

Stage Four saw the welcome return of another venue with Carlisle hosting a stage for the first time since 2005, with the day (as then) finishing in Blackpool.

Once again bad weather hit the North West's stage of The Tour, with heavy rain meaning a wet day in the saddle for the peloton and a lot of standing water on the route down through Cumbria and Lancashire. Again it was an early break going away and sweeping up the SKODA King of the Mountain and Yodel Sprint points before they were reeled in by the chasing pelotons.

High winds then split the peloton, with a front 30-rider group led by Bradley Wiggins going clear in the crosswinds as they raced towards the Lancashire coast. With the whole of Team Sky in the front group, the team could set up a perfect finish for Mark Cavendish, allowing him to take his second win in two days and also inherit the IG Gold Jersey of race leader.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling
2 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin Sharp
3 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE

Fittingly as Stoke-on-Trent celebrated five years of hosting The Tour of Britain it was Stage Five of the race that headed to the Potteries, heralding the more challenging second half to Britain's biggest professional cycle race. There was a new look for The Stoke-on-Trent Stage in 2012, with the race returning to Cannock Chase and taking on a new route through the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands.

On the climbs of the Staffordshire Moorlands the race split up, with both race leader Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins losing significant time as a select front group was formed.

Despite crashing inside the final 10-kilometres, Marc de Maar recovered to solo to victory in the City Centre, becoming the first rider from Curacao to win a stage of The Tour of Britain.

1 Marc de Maar (Aho) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
2 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin Sharp
3 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling

The Tour of Britain's Welsh stage had a familiar look to 2011, once again starting from outside the National Trust's Powis Castle before heading south to the Caerphilly Castle finish. On the way though a tougher, hillier route awaited the professional peloton, taking the race over the Epynt and Brecon Beacons before two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain.

It was the famous Mountain that did the damage, with Jonathan Tiernan Locke attacking on the first ascent to catch the breakaway. The Endura Rider was joined by Leopold Koenig, with the pair shedding themselves of the last rider from the escape, Graham Briggs, on the second climb.

Koenig was the sharper out of the final corner, heading Tiernan Locke home for the stage win, but the Devonian took on the IG Gold Jersey ahead of his home stage.

1 Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team NetApp
2 Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GBr) Endura Racing
3 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp

For the second year in succession Devon hosted a full stage of The Tour of Britain, starting and finishing within the county. In 2012 the route when from north coast to south coast, passing through previous Tour venues Bideford, Hatherleigh and Tavistock on its way to Dartmouth.

After the initial flat section along the North Devon coast the route was all either up or down, heading through the Dartmoor National Park where tens of thousands of spectators lined the two SKODA King of the Mountains climbs of Merrivale and Coffin Stone.

An elite front group went clear, including Ivan Basso and Samuel Sanchez, but come the finish in Dartmouth it was the Spaniard's teammate Pablo Urtasun who took the stage win in front of an estimated 50,000 fans.

1 Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi
2 Marc de Maar (Aho) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas - Cannondale

Surrey made its Tour of Britain debut by hosting the final stage of the 2012 Tour, heading from Reigate to Guildford, where the finish line awaited at the top of the town's picturesque, cobbled, uphill High Street.

A challenging final day awaited The Tour of Britain, but Jonathan Tiernan Locke's Endura Racing controlled the stage well, allowing an unthreatening break to take away the bonus seconds at the Yodel Sprints, before Team Sky reeled them back in to set up a sprint finish for Mark Cavendish.

With a perfect leadout from his team, Cavendish hit the foot of the climb in front and stayed there until the end, powering clear of his rivals for his final win in the World Champions' rainbow stripes.
Tiernan Locke held on to take victory on the road ahead of Nathan Haas and Damiano Caruso, a result which would eventually be overturned, giving overall victory to Haas. Domestic British teams won three of the four classifications, with Node4 Giordana Racing's Peter Williams the Yodel Sprints winner and Kristian House the SKODA King of the Mountains Champion. UnitedHealthcare's Boy Van Poppel spoiled the party, taking the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling
2 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
3 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas - Cannondale

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