Getting Ready for the Tour of Britain – Could You Hack It?
With the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain’s official route having been revealed, we’re thinking this is a good time to get excited about this monumental event within the cycling calendar.
Whether you’re an avid cyclist yourself or simply love watching it as a sport, the Tour of Britain is one of the nation’s best loved events that always provides something for everybody. And who knows…maybe the event will inspire many of us to get on our own bike and start discovering the joys of cycling.
Tour of Britain: The Route
The route for the Tour of Britain is by no means an easy feat. Made up of eight stages and sweeping the country from the north west to the south east, it features gruelling peaks and strenuous stretches that even the sport’s most skilled competitors will need to work hard to accomplish.
The tour starts in Wales this year for the first time in its history, and the second stage will return to Lancashire for the first time since 2010. This route from Clitheroe to Colne will see riders through the Forest of Bowland and the Dunsop Bridge.
Edinburgh will also play its first role in the event, with a route through the city to the Northumberland coastal town of Blyth. This is followed by a stint along Hadrian’s Wall from Prudhoe – undoubtedly the toughest part of the tour with the highest ever summit finish (1905 feet, 8.8km) on Hartside Fell. Race organisers have described this stage as the ‘make or break’ part of the tour, with cyclists inevitably feeling pressed just as they are finding their stride. Not surprisingly, this is the only part of the route that is not subjected to a time trial; instead, it is all about endurance, grit and stamina.
The final parts of the tour will be mainly flat, but particularly tricky if the wind is blowing strong off the North Sea. At 225km, it is the longest stretch of the tour; a marathon task from Fakenham to Ipswitch in East Anglia. This will of course be followed with a comparatively comfortable 93km route through Central London, which was recently revamped to include Regent Street and finish nearby Piccadilly Circus tube station.
Up and at ’Em
British Cycling president Bob Howler commented that not only will the route for 2015 excite fans of cycling, but it will also “give people all over Britain a chance to see some of the world’s best riders in action, and encourage them to get out on their bikes” (Road Cycling UK).
Indeed, while you may not be up for doing an uphill haul to the likes of Hartside Fell, simply cycling to work for your daily commute can make all the difference to your well being. Not only will it improve your cardiovascular health and your energy levels, you’ll also greatly improve your stamina and notice your body start to look leaner, stronger and healthier.
Try it and see – sign your company up to our cycle to work scheme (or invite your employer to take part) and see how different cycling can make you feel.