TEAM Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford says Sir Bradley Wiggins will attempt to retain his title at this year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain, which returns to Devon on Thursday September 11.
Wiggins, who won the Tour de France in 2012 and won a silver medal in the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games last month, will lead Team Sky at this year’s Tour of Britain, Brailsford confirmed in a BBC interview. Other riders who will be competing are expected to be named soon.
The Devon Stage, hosted by Devon County Council and sponsored by South West Highways Ltd, will cover 110miles (177km) of the county. Starting from Exmouth and finishing in Exeter, it will be Stage Five of the race, which is Britain’s biggest free-to-watch sporting event.
The 114 riders on The Tour will face three Skoda King of the Mountains climbs at Mamhead, Haytor, on Dartmoor, and Stoke Woods/Pennsylvania Road, on the outskirts of Exeter. The route also take in Budleigh Salterton, Woodbury, Topsham, Exminster, Starcross, Bovey Tracey, Haytor, Widecombe in the Moor, Princetown, Tavistock, Okehampton, and Copplestone, with Yodel Direct Sprint points at Powderham Castle, Chudleigh and Crediton.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “I’m sure everyone will be delighted to see Sir Bradley Wiggins return as he bids to retain his Tour of Britain title.
"He is always a big draw for fans and we can expect plenty of visitors and an excellent turnout right across Devon again – which is great news for the local economy. We have more of the top teams competing in the race than ever before so it should be an exciting race.”
This year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain will feature its biggest ever line-up of top tier UCI Pro Teams in the 19-team field, led by Team Sky, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Movistar, BMC Racing Team, Tinkoff – Saxo, Garmin Sharp, Team Giant Shimano, and Belkin Pro Cycling.
The 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain will start in Liverpool on Sunday September 7 and finish in London with an individual time trial and a circuit race on Sunday September 14.