The OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2018 Route in detail
Stage One on Sunday 2 September will see the modern Tour visit Carmarthenshire for the first time, as the race gets underway at Pembrey Country Park. Riders will pass through Carmarthen, Brecon and Usk before the stage finish in the city of Newport. Riders will tackle the 800-metre, 9% average gradient climb of Belmont Hill on the outskirts of Newport inside the final 10 kilometres of racing.
After a year’s absence the OVO Energy Tour of Britain returns to the South West of England and its 10th visit to Devon in the past 12 years. The stage (Monday 3 September) will start in the UK’s newest town – Cranbrook – and finish in Barnstaple following a hilly finale along the North Devon coast that includes the one-kilometre, 13% average gradient climb of Challacombe, near Woolacombe.
Bristol will host the third stage of the race (Tuesday 4 September), a short, sharp out-and-back leg into the north Somerset hills that includes Cheddar Gorge. The finish on the Clifton Down is the same one as used by the race in 2014 and 2016, where Michal Kwiatkowski, Tony Martin and Rohan Dennis have taken victories.
Stage Four will build on the success of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s visit to Warwickshire in 2017 by bringing the men’s race to the county for the first time since 1993 on Wednesday 5 September. The leg will race over 183 kilometres from Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa, using many of the same roads that the world’s top women will cover when Britain’s leading women’s stage race returns to the county on 13 June this year.
The race heads to Cumbria and the Lake District for two stages on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 September, the first of which will see an uphill team time trial from Cockermouth town centre to the summit of Whinlatter Pass. The 14-kilometre test gains over 300 metres across its length, with the final five kilometres of the test against the clock averaging 4%.
The following day riders will climb Whinlatter Pass twice more, from its harder eastern side, during a 169-kilometre road stage from Barrow-in-Furness. The second of the ascents up the three-kilometre climb that averages 7% will see the stage finish at the Forestry Commission’s visitor centre.
The penultimate stage sees the OVO Energy Tour of Britain return to Nottinghamshire to build upon the success of the 2017 stage in the county. This year’s longest stage of the race heads from West Bridgford to Mansfield, taking in 223 kilometres.
The 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain concludes with a 14-lap circuit race in the heart of London, using the iconic circuit that the 2015 and 2016 editions finished on, taking in Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, before the finish on Regent Street St James.