The 2021 Tour of Britain will start in Cornwall and head into Wales and the north of England before finishing with two stages in Scotland, race organisers Sweetspot have announced.
Alpecin-Fenix star Mathieu van der Poel is the reigning champion of the race, having won three stages en route to overall victory in Manchester in 2019, a 17-second victory over points classification winner Matteo Trentin.
For the first time in the history of the modern race, which was relaunched in 2004, the Tour will visit the south-west county of Cornwall, kicking off with a 170-kilometre stage from Penzance to Bodmin on Sunday, September 5. The opener will feature three categorised climbs and a 500-metre uphill finish on day one.
Devon will host the second stage, a 185-kilometre day in the Dartmoor hills between Sherford and Exeter. Meanwhile stages 3 and 4 will be held in Wales, heading north with start and finish towns and further details yet to be announced.
The peloton will be back in England for stage 5, starting in Cheshire and finishing in Warrington, before a race across the far north for stage 6. That day will see riders cross west to east across the Pennines as they start in Cumbria and finish in Gateshead, which hosted stage 4 in 2019.
Stage 7, the penultimate day of the race, will head into Scotland, running from Hawick in the Scottish Borders to the capital city of Edinburgh. The 2021 Tour of Britain will end in Aberdeen on Sunday, September 12, after starting in Stonehaven, marking the northernmost point the race has visited.
A number of route details have yet to be confirmed, including locations of stages 3 and 4, start towns for stages 5 and 6, stage profiles, and the possible location of any time trial.
"We are excited to reveal more details of this year's Tour of Britain and what is truly an epic route – one that will take us from the furthest tip of south west England, through Wales, and eventually finishing at one of the furthest points of north east Scotland," said Chief Executive of SweetSpot Hugh Roberts.
"We want to make September not just about the world-class racing and superstar riders but also through our campaign, Ride for Heroes, to ensure it is a celebration of 'all things British' and make it an occasion for ourselves and British Cycling to thank all those who have worked tirelessly over the past year to ensure our wellbeing and safety.
"The SweetSpot team are determined that not only will there be great racing to enjoy but the Tour of Britain will also be way by which communities across the country can come together and show their appreciation for our COVID heroes over the past 12 months."
The race was cancelled in 2020 – along with the Women's Tour, Tour de Yorkshire and the RideLondon one-day races – due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 race – which for the second edition in a row misses Britain's capital city, London – will follow the planned route of the 2020 race, while it has already been announced that the 2022 edition will finish on the Isle of Wight.
The 2021 Tour of Britain 🇬🇧 host venues have today been revealed!#TourOfBritain 🔴🔵⚪March 17, 2021
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