The Tour of Britain today announced details of the 2007 event. Since 2004, The Tour of Britain has grown from five stages to a seven day race now attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators and leading national and international teams from around the world.
The Tour of Britain, which is Britain's leading professional cycle race and biggest live sporting event is free to watch and the 2007 race promises not only to be bigger and better than previous years but the route will be going from South to North for the first time.
This year's race has been granted a seventh day of racing and starts in Crystal Palace, London, on Sunday 9 September with the race's first ever prologue time trial. It will send competitors off at one-minute intervals to race over a one-lap, 2.5k route. Crystal Palace will host a variety of events for spectators during the morning including "Go Ride", a British cycling initiative for children, a Women's and a Juniors' Grand Prix and the TfL Grand Prix. There will also be a promotional village with sponsors exhibiting.
On day two (10 September), stage one in the South East will go from Reading to Southampton, locations which are both newcomers to hosting the race. Stage two on 11 September sees the race visit Somerset for the first time, starting in Yeovilton and ending in Taunton. More details of the race's first visit to the South West will be released at their regional launch on 26 April. Stage three on 12 September (sponsored by Birmingham Midshires and backed for the first time by Advantage West Midlands) begins in Worcester and ends in Wolverhampton for the city's first ever stage finish. Stage four (13 September) in Yorkshire leaves Rother Valley Park in Rotherham and ends in Bradford's Lister Park, voted the most beautiful park in the country. Stage five, on the event's sixth day 14 September, starts in Liverpool, the city which will host the finish of the race's final stage in 2008 and will end in Kendal, Cumbria. The final stage of the 2007 race is on Saturday 15 September in Scotland and will go from Dumfries to Glasgow, which, if their bid is successful, could be hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Of the 13 venues who won the bids to host a stage of the race, nine are new to the event. In keeping with the Tour's aspiration to take the race to different parts of Britain, none of the stage finish venues have previously hosted a stage finish before.
The 2007 Tour of Britain also announces a new date, 9-15 September, spanning two weekends for the first time in its history. The date is within most schools' term times, giving children at schools along the route the opportunity to spectate.
Involvement of a 'Multi Force Escort Team' has been resurrected and secured for the 2007 race, ensuring that one group of motorcycle police outriders will be dedicated to overseeing the policing of the entire event from start to finish. Whilst on the open road they will be supported, as always, by our volunteer marshals and local officers from the regions.
The 2007 Tour of Britain will strive to be greener than ever and will be audited by the CRed carbon reduction programme. As part of these efforts, the race is seeking a sponsor for the event's Green Jersey competition that will illustrate the efforts the race is making to reduce its carbon footprint.