Start and finish locations of the Tour of Britain 2024 announced
Start and finish locations of the Tour of Britain 2024 announced

The Tour of Britain is not far away. Last autumn, Wout van Aert won the overall title after a week of dominance together with his Jumbo-Visma teammate Olav Kooij. Two months before a new winner is crowned, British Cycling has announced the route for the 2024 edition.

The 2024 event – billed as “Britain’s greatest free-to-enter sporting spectacle” – will start in Kelso in the Scottish Borders on Tuesday 3 September and finish in Felixstowe, Suffolk on Sunday 8 September. The race will head south from the south-east of Scotland. The six-day race will pass through North Yorkshire, Sheffield, Northamptonshire and East Anglia during race week, with one stage yet to be confirmed.

This will be the first edition of the men’s race since the organisation was taken over by British Cycling at the end of 2023. This means this will be the first men’s Tour of Britain under the leadership of new race director Rod Ellingworth, the former team leader of Ineos and the British Olympic team.

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Tour of Britain 2024: Important information

Cyclists ride uphill in the shade of the treesCyclists ride uphill in the shade of the trees
James York

Events: Tuesday, 3 to Sunday, 8 September 2024
Begin: Kelso, Scotland
Finish: Where is Felixstowe, United Kingdom
Television coverage in the UK: ITV4, Eurosport, Discovery+
TV coverage elsewhere: Eurosport (Europe, Asia and Oceania), Discovery+ (Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America), L’Équipe (France), RTVC (Colombia), Starzplay (North Africa), SuperSport (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Route of the Tour of Britain 2024

The 2024 Tour of Britain will feature six stages. This means that this Tour of Britain will be the shortest since 2007 (excluding the 2022 race, which was abandoned early due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II). Currently, information has been released on the venues of five of the six stages. We are awaiting further information on the location of the fourth stage.

As things stand, the Tour will visit England and Scotland, excluding Wales, where half of the races in the recent Tour of Britain Women took place in June. The race will also take place largely in the north of Britain.

There will be no time trial, The race also won’t finish with a stage in downtown Manchester, London or Glasgow. However, the race will include a cobbled finish, steep kickers and windy roads. Yes, please.

Stage preview of the Tour of Britain 2024

Three cyclists ride past a crowdThree cyclists ride past a crowd
Matt Grayson

Stage 1: Tuesday 3 September, Kelso – Kelso

After a year’s break from men’s racing, Scotland returns to the Tour of Britain Course.

The race starts in Kelso, the hometown of DSM-Firmenich-PostNL rider Oscar Onley. The route and type of stage are not yet known at this stage, but the start and finish are on the cobbled market square. The final phase of the race takes place on a circuit.

In the past, Jayco-AlUla have had success in Kelso under their previous names, with Caleb Ewan winning in the town in 2017 and Matteo Trentin claiming a win here in 2019.

A local trivia fact is that Kelso is twinned with Orchies, a town located on a cobbled section of the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix.

Stage 2: Wednesday, 4 September, Darlington – Redcar

Stage 2 leads to England and starts in Darlington. The stage crosses the Tees Valley and stops at Saltburn Bank, the hill that decided the last two British championships. The North Moors provide some bumps in the profile before it heads back to the North Sea coast for the finish.

The stage ends in the steel town of Redcar, with race organisers confirming the finish will be on the seafront of the North Yorkshire town.

Cyclists ride past roller coasterCyclists ride past roller coaster
James York

Stage 3: Thursday 5 September, Sheffield – Barnsley

The third stage of the cycling race starts in the South Yorkshire city of Sheffield. Home to the Arctic Monkeys, Adam Blythe and Michael Palin, Sheffield has hosted the Tour of Britain and the Tour de France for the past two decades. This will be Sheffield’s big comeback in cycling, as the city has not hosted a stage of the premier British stage race since 2006.

Organisers have indicated that stage three will be a “tough stage” that will most likely pass through the Peak District and the Yorkshire Moors, but the finish will almost certainly be in Barnsley. The South Yorkshire town – birthplace of England footballer John Stones – has never hosted a stage of the Tour of Britain. However, it has hosted stages of the now-defunct Tour de Yorkshire.

Stage 4: Friday, September 6, TBC – TBC

Don’t worry, TBC isn’t a secret newly built city in the Midlands. The details of Phase 4 have yet to be announced.

We’re waiting to see where it might be. Speculation is that it’s probably somewhere between Yorkshire and Northamptonshire. Perhaps it could be Lincolnshire or Nottinghamshire.

Cyclists ride along the beach with crowds of peopleCyclists ride along the beach with crowds of people
James York

Stage 5: Saturday 7 September, Northampton – Northampton

Stage 5, the penultimate stage, starts and finishes in Northampton. The city will make its debut in the men’s Tour of Britain this year. It was previously part of the Women’s Tour. Emma Johansson won a stage here in 2014, in the first edition of the race.

Organisers tell us the stage will take place in West Northamptonshire. This part of the county is incredibly flat, so expect a sprint stage on the penultimate day of racing.

Stage 6: Sunday, 8 September, Lowestoft – Felixstowe

Finally, the race heads a few more hours down the road to Suffolk, where the final stage of the 2024 Tour of Britain will take place. The day starts in Lowestoft, the most easterly town in Britain, and ends in Felixstowe. In fact, the finish will be the same as Stage 5 of last year’s Tour of Britain, won by Wout van Aert. Given the flat terrain of Suffolk, expect another mass gallop to the finish line.

Beware of the East Anglian wind, there is a real chance that last minute relays could affect the sixth and final leg.

“The best of Britain’s character and terrain”

James York

The route has received a positive reception online, with some commentators on social media appearing to be annoyed that the south-east of England has once again been left out of the route, but the return to Scotland has been well received.

Reacting to the route announcement this morning, British Cycling’s Event Managing Director Jonathan Day said: “We are delighted to be bringing high-quality racing and the joy of cycling to communities across the country in September. Over six stages we will showcase Britain’s character and terrain at its best.”

More details on the Tour of Britain will follow shortly. Cyclist will provide a full review of the competition closer to the race.

By Isla