The UK’s largest professional bike race, the 2009 Tour of Britain, begins in North Lincolnshire tomorrow and finishes eight days later in the heart of London on Saturday 19th September.
The Grand Depart is in Scunthorpe with a finish in York.
Subsequent stages will re-visit the North East as The Tour once again travels from Darlington to NewcastleGateshead on Stage Two, while Stage Three will see the northernmost point of the race, as The Tour heads to Scotland and takes in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.
The Tour of Britain then heads south, with Stage Four featuring the North West of England and Blackpool, with Stage Five both starting and finishing in Stoke-on-Trent, with a hard days racing in store through the scenic North Staffordshire countryside.
The South West, scene of some of the races biggest crowds in 2008, has two stages in 2009, with Stage Six taking the riders across Exmoor as the pass from Somerset into Devon, on their journey from Frome to Bideford.
The penultimate day of the race then sees the peloton retrace its steps, from Hatherleigh in Devon to Yeovil in Somerset.
The final day of racing sees the riders tackle the iconic London circuit that opened last year's race.
For the second year running there will be full coverage of the race on ITV, with an hour long nightly highlights show of all the action on ITV4, between 7pm – 8pm, with repeats the following day.
And, this year, for the first time, web users can track race progress in real time, using GPS tracking technology developed by Cambridge Design Partnership.
Using its GPS technology platform - Gmax Go - in combination with Ordnance Survey maps provided by Satmap Systems, Cambridge Design Partnership has created a free-to-use service to allow anyone to follow the event’s progress as it moves through each of its eight stages.
Will Bradley, the Project Leader for Gmax Go, said:
"Modern GPS tracking technology is revolutionising the appeal of long distance sports such as The Tour of Britain to many spectators. It allows enthusiasts, teams and organisers to stay engaged with the live progress of the race from anywhere with an internet connection.
"Online participation in sports such as cycling, marathons, sailing, rally driving and endurance horse racing is growing, attracting larger and more diverse audiences with each event. As well as benefitting the fans, it also allows event organisers to attract and provide greater value to their sponsors by raising the profile of the sport, and generating more traffic to their website.
"The Tour of Britain is the most significant public trial of the Gmax Go tracking system to date."
Thanks to Gmax Go and SatMap, spectators will be able keep track not just of the pack’s location, but also key matrics such as rider speed and distance travelled, in real time on digital mapping display screens. This is made possible by data feeds coming from Satmap GPS-enabled tracking hardware that will be fitted to the race pack’s leading and trailing motorcycle escorts.
Richard Calthrop-Owen, Managing Director for Satmap Systems, said:
“Satmap’s Active 10 GPS has enjoyed a growing reputation within the cycling world as a highly reliable and accurate navigation tool, so we wanted enhance these strong relationships by supporting The Tour of Britain."
As official digital mapping supplier, Satmap is also providing 40 sets of equipment to key Tour coordination and management personnel.
Each of these team members will have a Satmap Active 10 handheld GPS unit allowing them to see their position in real time on Ordnance Survey mapping.
For cyclists wanting to attempt the race themselves, each stage of the route will also be available to view on Satmap Systems’ Route Share service.
Provisional list of Teams and Riders for 2009 Tour of Britain:
Lequatre, Geoffroy (FRA)
2 Berges, Emilien (FRA)
3 Bouet, Maxime (FRA)
4 Laurent, Christophe (FRA)
5 Ravard, Anthony (FRA)
6 Vogondy, Nicolas (FRA)
Barloworld 11 Cummings, Stephen (GBR) 12 Froome, Christopher (GBR) 13 Hunter, Robert (RSA) 14 Impey, Daryl (RSA) 15 Soler, Mauricio (COL) 16 Thomas, Geraint (GBR)
21 Boasson Hagen, Edvald (NOR) 22 Lovkvist, Thomas (SWE) 23 Martin, Tony (GER) 24 Renshaw, Mark (AUS) 25 Rogers, Michael (AUS) 26 Siutsou, Kanstantsin (BLR)
31 Greenwood, Ben (GBR) 32 House, Kristian GBR) 33 Lapthorne, Darren (GBR) 34 Newton, Christopher (GBR) 35 Richardson, Simon (GBR) 36 Southam, Tom (GBR)
41 Appleby, Dale (GBR)
42 Briggs, Graham (GBR)
43 Elliott, Malcolm (GBR)
44 Downing, Russell (GBR)
45 Sampson, James (GBR)
46 Williams, Peter (GBR)
Ag2r La Mondiale 51 Roche, Nicolas (IRE) 52 Dion, Renaud (FRA) 53 Goubert, Stephane (FRA) 54 Krivtsov, Yuriy (UKR) 55 Mondory, Lloyd (FRA) 56 Sonnery, Blaise (FRA)
61 Stamsnijder, Tom (NED)
62 Brown, Graeme (AUS)
63 Clement, Stef (NED)
64 Ten Dams, Laurens (NED)
65 Niermann, Grischa (GER)
66 Posthuma, Joost (NED)
CSF Navigare 71 Finetto, Mauro (ITA) 72 Frapporti, Marco (ITA) 73 Canuti, Frederico (ITA) 74 Pozzovivo, Domenico (ITA) 75 Savini, Filippo (ITA) 76 Zen, Enrico (ITA)
Joker Bianchi 81 Kristoff, Alexander (NOR) 82 Willmann, Frederik (NOR) 83 Remme, Stian (NOR) 84 Sortveit, Sondre (NOR) 85 Nordhaug, Lars Petter (NOR) 86 Stake Laengen, Vegard (NOR)
Garmin-Slipstream 91 Wiggins, Bradley (GBR) 92 Duijn, Huub (NED) 93 Lowe, Trent (AUS) 94 Peterson, Tom (USA) 95 Sutton, Chris (AUS) 96 Van Der Velde, Ricardo (NED)
101 De Ketele, Kenny (BEL)
102 Criel, Tom (BEL)
103 De Gendt, Thomas (BEL)
104 Vandewalle, Kristof (BEL)
105 Vanheule, Bart (BEL)
106 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter (BEL)
Cervelo Test Team 111 Appollonio, Davide (ITA) 112 Deignan, Philip (IRE) 113 Fleeman, Dan (GBR) 114 LLoyd, Daniel (GBR) 115 Hunt, Jeremy (GBR) 116 Reimer, Martin (GER)
121 Swift, Ben (GBR)
122 Karpets, Vladimir (RUS)
123 Napolitano, Danilo (ITA)
124 Pozzato, Filippo (ITA)
125 Petrov, Evgueni (RUS)
Team Halfords Bikehut 131 Clancy, Edward (GBR) 132 Hayles, Robert (GBR) 133 McNally, Mark (GBR) 134 Partridge, Robert (GBR) 135 Tennant, Andrew (GBR) 136 Wilkinson, Ian (GBR)
141 Aramendia, Javier (ESP) 142 Fdez de Larrea, Koldo (ESP) 143 Velasco, Ivan (ESP) 144 De Lis, Sergio (ESP) 145 Agirre, Josu (ESP) 146 Azanza, Jorge (ESP) Vaconsoleil 151 Ruijgh, Rob (NED) 152 Berkhout, Thomas (NED) 153 Cooke, Baden (AUS) 154 Honig, Reinier (NED) 155 Mol, Wouter (NED) 156 Mortensen, Martin (DEN)
161 Huzarsky, Bartozs (POL) 162 Clarke, Simon (AUS) 163 De Negri, Pierpaolo (ITA) 164 Colo', Alessandro (ITA) 165 Stannard, Ian Dexter (GBR) 166 Ricci Bitti, Davide (ITA)