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Britain's answer to the Tour de France will stretch the length of the country this September, as the Tour of Britain gets underway.
On Sunday 9 September, some of the world's leading cyclists will gather in Ipswich to embark on a gruelling eight day tour that will take them the length and breadth of Britain; heading as far north as Jedburgh in Scotland before ending in Guildford on the 16 September.
In total, the riders will cover a gruelling 838.8 miles (1,349.9 km), making this the longest ever Tour. Over that distance, the riders will cross difficult terrain across the Peak District, climb through the Lake District and negotiate the Brecon Beacons - climbing the fearsome Caerphilly Mountain not once, but twice.
Whilst not quite as renowned as the event held just across the Channel, the Tour of Britain dates back to events held just after the Second World War. However, the Tour of Britain as it is known today first took place in 2004; taking place over five days in early September. The event was won by Colombian Mauricio Ardila, but was perhaps more remembered for the thrilling sprint finish between Britain's Bradley Wiggins and Enrico Degano at the final stage in London, which was seen by an estimated 100,000 people.
To date, the modern Tour of Britain has yet to be won by a British rider, although stages have been won in the past by Roger Hammond, Paul Manning, Ben Swift, Alex Dowsett and the legendary Tour de France sprinter Mark Cavendish. Can a British rider go all the way in 2012?
Back to the events calendar.
9-16 September - Check the weather forecast if you are cheering on the riders in the Tour of Britain cycle race.
The weather will play a major role as the riders cross the UK, keep an eye on the forecast for each of the stages if you are going to cheer on the riders.
Tour of Britain Tour Stage
To check the daily routes for each stage, visit the Tour of Britain official website.
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