The peloton will meet in the United Kingdom between September 3rd and 10th for the Tour of Britain. This year’s edition starts in Edinburgh and finishes in Cardiff, which means that the race won’t stop in London for the first time since 2012. The course consists of eight stages and provides plenty of opportunities for top sprinters such as Mark Cavendish, Fernando Gaviria or Alexander Kristoff. Each stage features three intermediate sprints during which bonus seconds will be up for grabs. These can therefore have a major impact on the general classification. The first stage will be a first opportunity to shape the general classification, with three second category climbs on the menu, including Redstone Rig, which is eight kilometres long and averages 3.5%. There will also be a thirteen kilometres time trial on the fifth day, which can be a day for time trial specialists Tony Martin or Stefan Küngs. The finale of the seventh stage might also be a crucial moment for the GC riders, as the peloton will come across Cleeve Hill in the last ten kilometres, a second category climb with some parts up to 25%. This race is for many riders a great preparation for the World Championships, of which the road race will take place two weekend later. With no less than ten WorldTour-teams and riders such as Edvald Boasson Hagen or Geraint Thomas at the start, this year’s edition of the Tour of Britain will certainly make for some hard racing. 

 Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: « This edition is slightly less challenging than the previous years. Stage one and Stage seven are the only two tougher days, and there will probably be sprints in all the other stages, except for the fifth stage, which is a time trial. Nevertheless, it certainly won’t be an easy race. Some teams will come here with very strong riders who will go for the overall classification, but our main objective is to win a stage. We will see afterwards if a good result in GC is possible for any member of our team. The World Championships are just around the corner and lots of riders will come to the UK as a final preparation, but many others will chase stage wins as well, so I expect a strong opposition. »

 « For Senne Leysen, trainee at our WorldTour team,  this will be his first stage race with the pros. This race is a last preparation for the Worlds and he will try to ride a good time trial, but he will mainly work for the team, like all young riders do. That’s the most important thing for us. Just like his teammates, he will also try to be part of breakaways, but his main goal is to gain experience. »

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Kris Boeckmans, Senne Leysen, Nikolas Maes, James Shaw, Marcel Sieberg and Enzo Wouters.

Sports director: Bart Leysen

Stages:

Stage 1 Sunday 3 September: Edinburgh – Kelso (190km)

Stage 2 Monday 4 September: Kielder Water & Forest Park – Blyth (211km)

Stage 3 Tuesday 5 September: Normanby Hall Country Park – Scunthorpe (178km)

Stage 4 Wednesday 6 September: Mansfield – Newark-on-Trent (165km)

Stage 5 Thursday 7 September: Clacton – Clacton (16km)

Stage 6 Friday 8 September: Newmarket – Aldeburgh (187km)

Stage 7 Saturday 9 September: Hemel Hempstead – Cheltenham (185km)

Stage 8 Sunday 10 September: Worcester – Cardiff (180km)