Day 1 Prologue, Day 2 London to Canterbury
Prologue-7.9km> The start of the prologue will be familiar to anyone who has been to the final stage of the Tour of Britain, as it heads along Whitehall, but in the opposite direction. After a sharp right-hander past Big Ben the route leads onto Victoria Street and then right again onto Buckingham Gate, passing Buckingham Palace, so the Queen will probably have the best vantage point on the route. On a course that is pretty much pan flat the only ‘climb’ is that of Constitution Hill which will barely register on the grimpeurs’ Richter scale. In a brave move by the organisers, Amory Sports Organisation, the riders then go under Wellington Arch-a monument to the Duke for his victories over the French. The parcours then does a circuit of the Serpentine in Hyde Park before passing Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner, one of the busiest roundabouts in Europe. London’s motorists will not be held up too much, however, as the traffic will presumably be directed through the underpass. The course then heads back down Constitution Hill, which will probably attract the biggest crowds, before heading into Pall Mall for the finish by St James’s Park after completing just under five miles.
London to Canterbury-209 km The first stage proper starts on the Mall hopefully with the yellow jersey on British shoulders, it then heads east passing St Pauls before racing proper starts halfway across Tower Bridge from there it heads out of London through Greenwich, Woolwich and Erith following the Thames out into ‘The Garden of England’ via Dartford and Gravesend. From there it turns south out into the heart of Kent passing through a number of towns including Rochester, Maidstone, Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells, and Ashford from there it’s a straight run to the finish in Canterbury. The route, at just under 130 miles, will include three bonus sprints and three 4th category climbs along the way. The first sprint comes at the Medway, followed shortly after by one in the village of Teston (near Maidstone), with the final sprint being contested at Tenterden. The first points on offer in the King of the Mountains competition come at the climb of Quarry Hill, followed by Goudhurst, and then shortly before the finish in Canterbury, at Farthing Common. These climbs are unlikely to cause any problems for the field, and the people of Canterbury will no doubt be treated to a sprint royale.