A hill-top finish at Glenshee Ski Centre and lap of the Borders will offer up the perfect start to the 2022 Tour of Britain, which returns for what promises to be a groundbreaking 18th modern edition in September.
Building on the success of last year’s race, which saw the overall lead change hands five times in eight days, the battle for victory in the 2022 edition (Sunday 4 – Sunday 11 September) looks set to go down to the final pedal strokes once again.
Aberdeen will become just the third Scottish city to host the start of the race when the Tour of Britain’s most northerly Grand Départ to date takes place there on Sunday 4 September. Not only will this stage feature an entirely new route compared to last year’s finale in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, it will also include the first-ever opening day summit finish in modern race history. The Old Military Road climb from Auchallater to Glenshee measures 9.1 kilometres long, with the final five kilometres averaging a gradient of 4.8%.
The Scottish Borders will host a full stage for the second time in three editions on day two of this year’s race, with Hawick the starting point of stage two. The race’s eighth visit to the Borders will feature a mix of roads old and new to the event, before a first-ever finish in Duns. The stage winner will be crowned in the shadow of the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, which celebrates the two-time Formula 1 world champion who lived nearby.
The race then ventures south into English for stage three, which takes place between Durham and Sunderland, before making it’s way further and further south, finishing on the Isle of White on Sunday 11 September.
This year’s Tour of Britain will comprise the following stages:
Stage one Sunday 4 September Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre
Stage two Monday 5 September Hawick to Duns
Stage three Tuesday 6 September Durham to Sunderland
Stage four Wednesday 7 September Redcar to Duncombe Park, Helmsley
Stage five Thursday 8 September West Bridgford to Mansfield
Stage six Friday 9 September Tewkesbury to Gloucester
Stage seven Saturday 10 September West Bay to Ferndown
Stage eight Sunday 11 September Ryde to The Needles
On the unveiling of this year’s route, Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said:
“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. 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.”
Of the two stages in Scotland, Scottish Cycling’s CEO, Nick Rennie, commented:
“It’s fantastic to see two stages taking place in Scotland once again, and as an Aberdonian myself, and delighted to see the city of Aberdeen host the Grand Depart for the first time in history. We will be making the most of this occasion by hosting the Scottish National Criterium Championships on the closed city centre roads, in what looks set to be a real festival of cycling.
“Stage two in the Borders, which has hosted this famous race a number of times before, will be no less exciting, showcasing the area’s natural beauty, and I have no doubt we’ll see a whole host of local clubs out roadside, cheering on the riders. With the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships just 11 months later, this really is a special time for cycling in Scotland and we can’t wait to welcome the Tour of Britain once again.”
While spectators can watch all the action by the roadside for free, race day hospitality packages offer guaranteed prime views of stage starts and finishes, complete with fine dining experiences. Visit sportsbreaks.com/Cycling for more information.
ITV4 will continue to broadcast live flag-to-flag coverage of every stage, as well as a nightly highlights show, allowing fans in the UK to watch wherever they are. The race will also be shown in over 150 countries worldwide, in part thanks to the event’s partnerships with Eurosport and the Global Cycling Network.
Last year’s star-studded race was won by Belgian rider Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo – Visma), with reigning world road race champion Julian Alaphilippe finishing third overall. A roadside crowd of over one million spectators resulted in the Tour of Britain generating £29.96m of net economic benefit for the UK economy, according to research by Frontline.