Event organisers have announced that the 2022 edition will begin and end with hill-top finishes in Aberdeenshire and on the Isle of Wight respectively as they revealed the full route for the eight-day race.
The 18th edition of the modern Tour will begin on September 4 with a 185 kilometre stage from Aberdeen to the Glenshee Ski Centre in the Cairngorms National Park, taking on the climb of the Old Military Road, 9.1km long in total with the final five kilometres having an average gradient of 4.8 per cent.
And a week later it will be the turn of the Isle of Wight’s Military Road, as the 2022 champion will be crowned at the top of the two kilometre climb up to Tennyson Down at the end of a 150km stage from Ryde, with a 9.6 per cent gradient over the final 400 metres.
Organisers will hope the route can serve up something similar to last year’s race, in which Wout Van Aert edged out Britain’s Ethan Hayter by six seconds overall, with world champion Julian Alaphilippe finishing third.
‘As promised when we unveiled the Tour of Britain’s host regions in February, this year’s race features a number of surprises, none more so than hill-top finishes to start and end the eight days of world-class competition,’ race director Mick Bennett said.
‘Creating a route that encourages aggressive racing and brave tactics from day one will enhance the reputation of the race, leave the one million plus spectators watching on in person for free with long-lasting memories, showcase the stunning beauty of our host venues, and repeatedly entertain a worldwide audience.’
Stage two will cover 178km between Hawick and Duns in the Borders, finishing in the shadow of the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, before the race continues with a 168km stage from Durham to Sunderland, passing through the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Tour will then head into Yorkshire for the first time since 2009 with a 152km test between Redcar and Duncombe Park outside Helmsley, passing through Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Whitby before a tough finale which includes the climbs of Carlton Bank and Newgate Bank.
Redcar had been due to host the opening stage of the 2020 Tour de Yorkshire, but the race has been cancelled for three straight years amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and faces a deeply uncertain future with Welcome To Yorkshire now in administration.
The race then returns to Nottinghamshire for the first time since 2018. The start and finish towns – West Bridgford and Mansfield – are the same as last time, but the 191km route via Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest is new.
The Cotswolds provide the setting for the 169km stage six between Tewkesbury and Gloucester, the same two towns that will host the start and finish of stage three of the Women’s Tour in June, albeit connected by a different route, with that race due to head through the Forest of Dean.
The peloton then heads to Dorset’s Jurassic Coast for the 180 stage seven between West Bay and Ferndown before the finale on the Isle of Wight.
The Tour of Britain was first held just after the Second World War. Since then, various events have been described as the Tour of Britain, including the Milk Race, the Kellogg's Tour of Britain and the PruTour.
The current version of the event began in 2004. The only time it has reached south Hampshire was in 2007 when one of the stages started in Reading and climaxed in Southampton, part of the course taking in the New Forest.