Team INEOS, Team Jumbo – Visma and Team Sunweb headline the 20 teams confirmed for this September’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest and most prestigious cycle race.
Eleven teams fresh from competing in the Tour de France will take part in the 16th edition of the modern Tour (Saturday 7 – 14 September), including the French AG2R La Mondiale squad of Romain Bardet, who make their first appearance since 2009.
In total the OVO Energy Tour of Britain will welcome 10 UCI World Tour teams in 2019 including Team Dimension Data of Mark Cavendish, EF Education First Pro Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton – SCOTT, Team KATUSHA ALPECIN and the Movistar Team who won the team classification at the Tour de France last month.
Five UCI ProContinental squads will compete, led by Corendon – Circus Cycling Team, who are already confirmed as bringing rising star Mathieu van der Poel to the race, while the Israel Cycling Academy team will make their debut with a potential line-up including the last back-to-back stage winner in the Tour of Britain Matthias Brändle and former Irish national champion Connor Dunne.
Joining them will be Belgian squads Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team and Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise, who have both previously enjoyed riders winning jerseys in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, and the Danish Riwal Readynez Cycling Team team who impressed on British roads this spring with a stage win in the Tour de Yorkshire for Alexander Kamp.
British fans will also be able to cheer on the Great Britain cycling team once again, with the line again expected to feature the best British professionals from outside of the teams competing, combined with the next generation of home stars, such as Ethan Hayter who took four top 10 stage finishes during the 2018 race for Great Britain.
Four British UCI Continental squads will complete the field, having earned their places through a season long qualification criteria. OVO Energy Tour Series champions Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes will be joined by Madison Genesis, Team WIGGINS Le Col and making their race debut SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling.
Further announcements about the provisional rider list for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain will be made throughout August.
OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “Once again we’re delighted to welcome such a strong line-up of teams to the OVO Energy Tour of Britain. From fan favourites such as Team INEOS, Mitchelton-SCOTT and Team Jumbo Visma, alongside notable returnees AG2R La Mondiale, to the four British domestic teams who gained selection following a season-long qualification process, I think we’re in for an exciting eight days of racing in September.”
Commenting on the announcement, Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling added: “There aren’t many road races outside a Grand Tour that attract such a staggering field of riders year after year, but the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain is one of them. With the hunt for the maillot jaune now wrapped up, what better way to whet the appetite for fans of our great sport than to say that those very same WorldTour and Pro Continental teams will be going wheel to wheel much closer to home, come September.
“We are now a short time away from watching the likes of Team INEOS, Mitchelton – SCOTT and Team Dimension Data doing battle on our doorstep, and with the race for British domestic team qualification at its end – well done to Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes, Madison Genesis, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling and Team WIGGINS Le Col – we are soon to see just why the OVO Energy Tour of Britain is the pinnacle of British Cycling’s road racing calendar.”
Stage Three of the Tour will be the first ever Tour of Britain stage to link all of the areas of the North of Tyne Combined Authority, with the route taking in Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle Upon Tyne on Monday 9 September.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll added: “I’m really looking forward to this. I’m going to take my kids along. As a family we all like to cycle although I doubt we could match the speed of these athletes.
“The sprint finish to the Theatre Royal will be really exciting. With this being on television, it is a great way to show the rest of the world how beautiful our region is.”
Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Our region is becoming increasingly renowned for hosting world class sporting events and it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome some of the most prestigious cycling teams here for the Tour of Britain to continue that trend.
“The city will be a hive of sporting activity across the weekend with the England vs Italy rugby match at St James’ Park on the Friday, the Great North Run events over Saturday and Sunday, and Stage Three of the Tour of Britain will be a superb way to round it all off when it finishes on Grey Street on Monday afternoon.”
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain gets underway from George Square in Glasgow on Saturday 7 September, finishing on Deansgate in Manchester city centre on Saturday 14 September.
ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights programme of the best of the action.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.