Fresh off the back of the epic Women’s Tour of Britain that took place from the 6th to the 11th of June, we now have the men’s Tour of Britain to look forward to.
With less than a month to go until the Tour commences, communities across the country and cycling fans alike are preparing themselves for the epic 18th anniversary of Britain’s most famous cycling race.
Now that the full 8 stages have been released in detail, we can really take a close look at what to expect from the 2022 Tour of Britain, and find out what exactly the UCI have in store for this year’s riders.
In this article we’ll cover the following:
- Tour of Britain 2022: The Fundamentals
- Tour of Britain 2022: The Teams
- Tour of Britain 2022: The Jerseys
- 8 Stages, 8 Days: Each Stage Explained
Ready to get the lowdown on the Tour of Britain 2022?
Tour of Britain 2022: The Fundamentals
Whilst Tour of Britain races have been running in one form or another since 1945, the official UCI race as we know it has been running since 2004.
Each year, the race consists of 8 stages across 8 days.
The race will consist of 120 riders within 18 teams in total, equating to 6 riders per team. This will consist of 10 to 12 UCI Worldteams, as well as some UCI Proteams, four British UCI teams, and the British national team.
This means we can be sure to expect some of world’s best cyclists to be making an appearance.
As confirmed by the UCI on Friday, October 1st, 2021, the race will run from Sunday 4th of September 2022 to Sunday 11th of September 2022.
All stages will be broadcast live on ITV4, complemented by a nightly highlights show, meaning that you can stay involved in the action even if you can’t make it to any of the stages in person.
If you’re not from the UK, don’t stress, as you’ll still be able to watch via Eurosport or the Global Cycling Network.
After passing qualifying, the 18 teams confirmed to be competing in the Tour of Britain 2022 are the following:
- Bardiani CSF Faizanè (Italy)
- Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB (Belgium)
- BORA – hansgrohe (Germany)
- Caja Rural – Seguros RGA (Spain)
- Global 6 Cycling (New Zealand)
- Great Britain Cycling Team (Great Britain)
- Human Powered Health (USA)
- INEOS Grenadiers (Great Britain)
- Israel – Premier Tech (Israel)
- Movistar Team (Spain)
- Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling (Great Britain)
- Saint Piran (Great Britain)
- Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise (Belgium)
- Team DSM (Netherlands)
- Team Qhubeka (Italy)
- TRINITY Racing (Great Britain)
- Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Norway)
- Wiv SunGod (Great Britain)
In particular, keep an eye out for Ethan Hayter of the INEOS Grenadiers, who came a close second last year.
Returning teams Movistar, Team DSM, Israel – Premier Tech, and BORA – hansgrohe are also all ones to watch.
Tour of Britain 2022: The Jerseys
AJ Bell Leader’s Jersey
The standout red and white AJ Bell’s leaders Jersey (the official partner of the event) is awarded to the leader of the race – i.e. the rider who has completed all stages of the race so far in the shortest time.
Bear in mind, the jersey is likely to swap around between riders throughout the race as the competition gets increasingly heated.
DODL By AJ Bell Points Jersey
Typically awarded to the best sprinters, the blue and white points jersey is awarded to the rider with the most points accumulated. Points are awarded to the first 15 riders across the finish line – the closer to the front, the more points a rider receives.
ŠKODA King of the Mountains Jersey
During each stage, there are special steep hill climb sections demarcated along the way, graded in difficulty from 1 to 4.
The first riders across the summit of each hill climb section win points, with more points being awarded for more difficult climbs.
The rider with the most hill climb points is the one who gets the honour of wearing the standout bright-green jersey.
Sportsbreaks.com Sprints Jersey
Similar to the hill climbs, each stage features three sprint sections where the first three riders across the line are awarded points, and the rider with the most cumulative points gets to wear the white sprints jersey.
Furthermore, 1, 2, or 3 seconds can be taken off a rider’s total time if they come in first, second, or third during a sprint section. This means these sprint sections can get incredibly intense if multiple riders are battling for the leader’s jersey, as few seconds can make a huge difference to the overall win.
8 Stages, 8 days: each stage explained
Due to the huge costs of putting on such an event, especially one which is free to spectate, the host locations pay a fee to host the race, the payoff being that the race brings a huge amount of publicity and visitors to them.
This is ultimately how the location of each stage is decided. However, great care is also taken into making each stage as exciting and competitive as possible.
Due to UCI regulations, an individual stage cannot be greater than 240km long, and the average distance of all stages cannot be greater than 180km.
Stage 1: Aberdeen to Glenshee
Commencing on Sunday, September 4th, Stage 1 will run from Aberdeen to the Glenshee Ski Centre, with a total distance of 181.3km and a total elevation of 2,515 meters (of which the worst is saved till last).
Because Aberdeenshire has the honour of hosting the Tour of Britain Grand Départ this year, means the Tour is starting further north than ever before. Aberdeen greeted the Tour for the first time last year in 2021, where it marked the final section of the race.
To give you an idea of the challenging nature of the climb, note that Aberdeen is located a sea level, and the the Glenshee ski centre is home to the highest public road in all of the UK!
Stage 2: Hawick to Duns
Stage 2 sees the riders remaining in Scotland in the Scottish Borders region, located just north of the English border and to the southeast of Edinburgh.
The stage will be starting in the town of Hawick, then passing along a scenic rural route before finishing in the castle town of Duns, covering a total distance of 175.2km, and an unforgiving total elevation of 2457m.
Stage 3: Durham to Sunderland
Stage three sees the riders enter England.
The stage will start in Durham for the first time ever, before heading west deep into the heart of the North Pennines. After turning southwest and exiting the Area Of Natural Beauty, the race the faces back up northwest and passes to the south of Durham before finishing in Sunderland on the North West coast.
This represents the first time the modern race has entered Sunderland, although, Sunderland was featured more than once in the Milk race, a precursor to the modern race.
The distance will total 163.6km with an elevation of 2518m.
Stage 4: Redcar to Helmsley
On day four, the riders will commence in the quaint northwest seaside town of Redcar in Yorkshire, before advancing in a southeasterly direction along the coast until the picturesque Robin Hood’s Bay. From here, the route heads inland across the wild North York Moors.
The route then heads south, before finally coming to an end at Duncombe Park in Helmsley.
Day 4 sees a slightly shorter distance of 149.5km, but this is made up for by an epic elevation of 2,669m. In particular, keep an eye out for two epic climbs in the final 30 km of the race: the 2 km Carlton Bank with a 10% average gradient, and the 2 km Newgate Bank with a 6% average gradient.
Having hosted a stage of the Tour de France in 2014, we can expect the Yorkshire crowds to be extra lively.
Stage 5: West Bridgford to Mansfield
Stage 5 sees the riders edging their way further down south into the Midlands.
Interestingly, the race organisers have planned this stage to start in West Bridgford and finish in Mansfield, the exact same two places where the race started and finished in 2018, the previous time the tour was in Nottinghamshire. However, the route between the two has changed.
With a (relatively) small elevation of 1,691m, day 5 will see the riders climbing fewer hills than any other stage.
The 186.8km distance will also see the riders passing through the famous Sherwood Forrest, as well as skimming along the northeast outskirts of Nottingham.
Stage 6: Gloucester to Tewkesbury
Day 6 will take the cyclists further southwest into Gloucestershire, the first time the county has hosted a full stage of the tour.
In this stage, riders will cruise along an almost circular route, with the start and finish locations only 10 km apart.
The stage will commence in Gloucester, heading southwards parallel with the River Severn, before making a 180-degree turn close to Bristol and shooting back up northwest and deep into the Cotswolds, skirting around Cheltenham, and finishing in the beautiful historic town of Tewkesbury.
Stage 7: West Bay to Ferndown
Stage 7 will mark the first ever time Dorset has hosted a stage of the modern race.
Riders will begin in the small coastal settlement of West Bay, before proceeding in an easterly direction along the dramatic and ancient Jurassic Coast. After reaching Corfe Castle, riders will spin right around and head northwest until Dorchester, before heading back east and finally finishing in the town of Ferndown just north of Bournemouth.
On day 7, the cyclists will travel a total of 175.9km, with an elevation of 2,377m.
Stage 8: Ryde to The Needles
With its stunning chalk cliffs and rolling green hills, the Isle of Wight will create a beautiful backdrop for the 8th and final stage of the 2022 Tour of Britain.
Commencing in Ryde on the northeast side of the island, day 8 will see riders zigzagging backwards and forwards across the island, before finally coming to rest at the top of the most westerly point of the island: The Needles Landmark.
The race organisers certainly don’t make it easy for the riders, as the final stretch is all uphill, with a nearly 10% gradient for the final 400m, yet, at least the riders will have the pleasure of cycling along the beautiful coastal Military Road for the final 20 km.
In total, the stage will be 148.9km long with an elevation of 2,131m.