After an extremely successful season to date having already won the Tour Series, the National Circuit Series and the National Road Series from a team perspective, Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes will be looking to bring the season to a climax with an outstanding performance at the UK’s premier cycling event, the UCI 2.HC ‘Hors Categorie’ Tour of Britain.
In the team’s first participation in the 2017 edition, Bike Channel Canyon’s best performances were Harry Tanfield’s 7th place in the bunch sprint into Newark-on-Trent on Stage 4 and Dexter Gardias in 67th place on General Classification (GC).
With Canyon Eisberg’s appearance in 2018, the team upped their performance considerably with three top ten stage performances with Andy Tennant taking two 9th places with sprints into Leamington Spa on Stage 4 and Mansfield on Stage 7, and Max Stedman climbing to 9th place on Stage 6 up to Whinlatter Pass in the Lake District.
Stedman was also the best finisher on GC in 20th place. The team’s performance was topped off with Alex Paton storming to a last-gasp victory in the race-long Eisberg Sprint competition on Stage 8 in London to secure the treasured red jersey.
In 2019 the team will be competing against ten World Tour teams including Team Ineos and Harry Tanfield’s Team Katusha; five Pro Continental teams with Corenden Circus fielding the cyclo-cross turned road-racing phenomenon Mathieu van der Poel; three other UK-based Continental teams, Madison Genesis, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling and Team Wiggins; as well as a GB National Team.
The 1,250km eight-stage Tour of Britain 2019 route starts in Glasgow on Saturday, 7th September, circles the Scottish Borders, travels down the east coast of England before crossing over to the Lake District, down via the Wirral (where it twice passes through the author’s home village of Greasby!) to the West Midlands, before finishing back up in Manchester.
Though all stages contain some categorised climbs, the first three stages invite the formulaic race pattern of an early breakaway who are out on the hunt for the KOM (King of the Mountain) and Eisberg Sprints jerseys, that is usually but not always, brought back late on before the stage finishes in a bunch gallop.
However Stage 1 from Glasgow to Kirkcudbright is 201km in length with a late categorised climb and should a sizable breakaway get an advantage, they could stay away for the day which has happened on previous occasions when the Tour has started north of the Scottish border.
With 2,658 metres of climbing, Stage 4 that starts in Gateshead and crosses the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Kendal on the southern edge of Lake District could, depending upon the weather and how it is ridden, really blow the race apart and leave some riders struggling to make the time limit.
Stage 5 on the Wirral which starts and finishes in Birkenhead where Matt Bostock won a Tour Series event back in May, should be a sprinters paradise.
The flat and short 14.5km Stage 6 time trial based around Pershore in Worcestershire will be a major factor in influencing the GC battle.
Stage 7 undulates through Warwickshire for over 130km before climaxing with three loops through Burton Dassett country park and finishes at the top of the last of the three 1.7km 4.9% climbs so is a stage for a ‘puncheur’.
Although Stage 8 has some early climbs, it is likely to be a bunch sprint, though with a reduced field considering the efforts of the previous seven days.
In regards to the 2019 edition Directeur Sportif and team owner, Tim Elverson comments:
“It’s exciting to be taking on our third Tour of Britain and we have some specific targets in mind. This should allow us to have a fun and exciting race. #seeyouonthepodium”
The team Elverson has chosen to compete at the Tour are Matt Bostock, Ryan Christensen, Alex Colman, Tom Stewart, Andy Tennant and Rory Townsend, riders who have shown good form through the season with stand-out performances in the UK and the Low Countries.
No doubt they will have a significant focus on breakaways where the KOM and Eisberg Sprints jerseys will be contested, and in the finishing sprints from either a breakaway or a bunch gallop where a stage podium or so will be a realistic ambition.
Best wishes to all the riders and support staff for a great and successful Tour of Britain 2019.
Detailed information regarding the course and riders can be found here.
Written by Paul and Marina Stedman.
1&3 – SWpix.com
2&5 – Hugh McManus
4 – Paul Stedman