THE final list of teams for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain – which spends a day in Warwickshire – has been confirmed, including the identity of the four British UCI Continental teams that have qualified for the UK’s most prestigious cycle race.
JLT Condor, ONE Pro Cycling, Madison Genesis and Canyon Eisberg will join the list of the world’s top teams and riders in the eight-day event that gets underway in Carmarthenshire on Sunday 2 September and comes to Warwickshire on 5th September.
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.
“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,” said race director. Mick Bennett.
“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.”
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.
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: “With eleven UCI WorldTour teams confirmed for the race, this is a golden opportunity for our young riders to compete as a national team against some of the world’s best riders.
“The calibre of this year’s teams highlights the importance of the Tour of Britain in the racing calendar and we’re proud that some of the most high-profile athletes of our sport will be competing once again on British roads.
“We anticipate that the mounting excitement around this event will help to encourage the next generation of cyclists and we hope that people are left feeling inspired to take to the saddle.”
Racers in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain will set off from Nuneaton on 5th September at 11am and head towards Atherstone before taking in the north Warwickshire countryside and then arrive in Meriden.
It will then head to the University of Warwick, before passing Kenilworth and Warwick castles.
Heading south into the Stratford district, competitors will also have to take on three SKODA King of the Mountain climbs again – an ascent of more than 1,700 metres.
The first of those will be at Ilmington, before the second at Edge Hill, just on the outskirts of Arlescote, while the third comes in Burton Dassett Country Park.
It will then head through Moreton Morrell, Wellesbourne, Kineton, Tysoe and Shipston-on-Stour, Fenny Compton and Southam, and then towards Princethorpe before finishing in the centre of Leamington Spa.