Hilly stage of Tour of Britain to include North West cities

Organisers of the Tour of Britain announced details of stage two's hilly route between Blackpool and...

Organisers of the Tour of Britain announced details of stage two's hilly route between Blackpool and Liverpool yesterday.

It was also announced that the race will finish in Liverpool in 2008, the first time that the race has finished outside London.

Blackpool will host the stage start on 30 August, whilst Liverpool will welcome the 96 elite cyclists into the city for the first time for the stage finish.

The 160-kilometre stage includes the first category climbs at Appletree Fell and Waddington Fel, The race will also pass through Clitheroe, Preston and Southport.

"We are thrilled that Blackpool is playing such an integral part in the Tour of Britain," said Steve Weaver, Blackpool Council chief executive. "At a grassroots level cycling is an increasingly popular leisure activity and at Blackpool Council we are hoping [to] use the Tour of Britain as a fantastic incentive to encourage others to get on their bike."

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley was also pleased about the city hosting the final stage in two years time, ''Hosting the finale of the Tour of Britain in 2008 is a huge honour," he said. "It will give the city a great profile and a chance to showcase the renaissance which has been taking place."

Last year the North West stage of the Tour attracted 55,000 spectators.

The Tour of Britain will start on Tuesday 29 August in Scotland. 16 teams of six riders will take part over six days of stage racing, ending on The Mall in London on Sunday 3 September.

Stages

Stage 1 - August 29: Scotland, Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Stage 2 - August 30: Northwest, Blackpool to Liverpool
Stage 3 - August 31: Yorkshire, (final route to be confirmed)
Stage 4 - September 1: West Midlands, (final route to be confirmed)
Stage 5 - September 2: Southeast, Rochester to Canterbury
Stage 6 - September 3: London, Greenwich to The Mall

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