The 2008 Tour of Britain was launched at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden on Thursday, 3 April. The fifth edition added a day to this year's event, making it eight stages to become the longest UCI category 2.1 race in Europe.
The race will begin in London with a 8.5 kilometre circuit, and then head east for stage two and three before taking a northward journey to Scotland and then back down for the finish in Liverpool. The race will circumvent the more mountainous regions of Wales and the Scottish Highlands, making the rolling terrain and weather the major factors which will determine the race outcome.
Organisers will face a tough choice of teams, with 25 squads already vying for the 16 six-rider invitations. The only teams confirmed so far are the British squads Rapha-Condor-Recycling, team Great Britain, Plowman Craven and Pinarello RT. The full team listings will not be announced until six weeks before the start.
Stage 1 - September 7 - London circuit
Stage 2 - September 8 - Milton Keynes - Newbury
Stage 3 - September 9 - Chard - Burnham-on-Sea
Stage 4 - September 10 - Worcester - Stoke on Trent
Stage 5 - September 11 - Kingston-upon-Hull - Dalby Forest
Stage 6 - September 12 - Darlington - Newcastle Gateshead
Stage 7 - September 13 - Glasgow - Dumfries & Galloway
Stage 8 - September 14 - Blackpool - Liverpool
Full details of the individual stage routes will be unveiled over the next few months.
Additional reporting by Rob Lampard, BikeRadar.com