Tour of Britain's fifth stage announced

The English city of Birmingham will host the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, a 4 km time trial...

The English city of Birmingham will host the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, a 4 km time trial in the city centre. The TT will be the first of its kind in the Tour of Britain, and should be a popular crowd puller. With time gaps expected to be tight after the first four stages, Stage 5 could prove the decider in determining the overall general classification. The stage will be sponsored by T-Mobile, one of the main sponsors of the ToB.

Current World Time Trial Champion Michael Rogers (Quick.Step) is expected to be a favourite for the stage. "I am really excited about riding for the first time in the Tour of Britain, and especially looking forward to this year's time trial stage. I really believe that with support of Quick.Step, we have great chance of going one further than last year and winning the Tour.

"With the inclusion of a time trial stage this year, it increases my chances of winning, and I am looking forward to using this stage to help boost my chances of defending my time trial World Title in Spain later in September."

After a revival of the UK's only major professional stage race in 2004, an extra leg has been added to this year's race, taking it up to six stages. The ToB begins in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday, August 30, and passes through three of England's most picturesque regions - The North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands, followed by city stages held in Birmingham and London, where the climax will take place right in the heart of Westminster on Sunday, September 4.

16 teams will take part in the race, including ProTour outfits T-Mobile and Quick.Step-Innergetic. The Tour of Britain aims to become part of the UCI's ProTour calendar in future.

The stages

Stage 1 - August 30: Glasgow - Castle Douglas, 185 km
Stage 2 - August 31: Carlisle - Blackpool, 160 km
Stage 3 - September 1: Leeds - Sheffield, 160 km
Stage 4 - September 2: Buxton - Nottingham, 195 km
Stage 5 - September 3: Birmingham ITT, 4 km
Stage 6 - September 4: Westminster, London (Criterium), 60 km

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