Tour of Britain route announced

By Susan Westemeyer

The Tour of Britain has finished in London in each of its first three years, but this year the race will head in the other direction. Or, as the race organizers put it, they are "turning the tour on its head!" The 2007 edition of the race starts with a prologue in London and ends up in Glasgow, Scotland. In addition, the race has gained an extra stage and moved up to seven days.

This year's race travels through Kent and the southeast, Somerset, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, the northwest, and Scotland, ending up in Glasgow, where it started last year. It will be held September 9 - 15.

While no details have been released regarding the distances or exact routes, the organizers have announced the stages. The race starts with a time trial prologue at Crystal Palace in London, before moving on to the first stage from Reading to Southampton. The second stage takes the tour to south-western England for the first time, travelling from Yeovil to Taunton.

The third stage takes the riders from Worcester to Wolverhampton, and will be one of the shortest stages of the race. Stage four crosses through Yorkshire, from Rotherham to Bradford. The fifth stage "is sure to be one of the most picturesque stages of the 2007 race, as well as a challenging one for the riders' tired legs," the organizers say, leaving Liverpool and heading north, "skirting the Lancashire fells and lakes" before finishing in Kendal in the Lake District. The final stage sends the riders through the Southern Uplands on their way from Dumfries to Glasgow.

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