Route To This

Are you looking for some new, more inspiring cycle rides, that will push you out of your comfort zone and give you the opportunity to cover new ground? Then here is a challenge for you. The Tour of Britain runs from the 11th to 18th September and almost 1,200km will be cycled over eight tour stages.

The first leg is from Rochdale to Blackpool taking in the steep climb of Trough of Bowland. The second stage is a loop around Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding villages, and several steep climbs including the 10% road up Hollinsclough Moor.

The third stage heads into Wales from Newtown to Swansea. Not only does this challenging, leg-burning route traverse the Brecon Beacons, but the final stretch is up one the steepest residential roads in Britain, Swansea’s Constitution Hill.

Stages four heads into the West Country from Minehead to Teignmouth. Somerset and Devon are popular cycling locations thanks to the great variety in scenery and terrain. The numerous national parks also appeal to off roaders, as well as families looking to avoid country road rat races. Climbs on this route tend to be short and steep, but beware of Honiton Hill, for it is long and deceptively tough.

Stages five remains in Somerset and Devon but this time Dartmoor features more heavily. The hills on this stage are less intimidating, except for the thigh killer that is Coombe Hill, short it is, but sweet it isn’t; this one separates the men from the boys or women from the girls

At 190km, stage six is the longest stage of the Tour of Britain. The route kicks off in King’s Lynn before heading down into Norwich and up again to Great Yarmouth. The coastal scenery is some of Britain’s best and although there are three climbs, none are too challenging but there are plenty of sprint sections to get the blood pumping. The Norfolk Broads are great for kids as there are miles upon miles of towpaths and cross-country tracks away from the roads and their speeding traffic. It’s also predominantly flat.

The penultimate stage goes from Bury St Edmunds to Colchester. There are only three climbs in stage seven and they are pretty gentle, but they do seem to go on for what feels like forever, making them more of a mental rather than physical test.

The final stage is in Newham in London, the site of the 2012 London Olympics. This is a great way to see the future Olympic stadiums as well as see just what cycling in London is really like. If you are just getting into cycling and want more information on the sport, industry and events or even if you just need some information on bikes in general, check out the British Bike Association for useful details.

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