- Tour of Britain
Tour of Britain 2011 Tour of Britain Race details Date September Region Great Britain Discipline Road Competition UCI Europe Tour Type Stage race History First edition 1945 First winner Robert Batot (FRA) Most recent Lars Boom (NED) (2011)
The Tour of Britain is a cycle race, conducted over several stages, in which participants race from place to place across parts of Great Britain.
The event dates back to the first British stage races held just after the Second World War, since when various events have been described as the Tour of Britain, including the Milk Race, the Kellogg's Tour of Britain and the PruTour. The current version of the Tour of Britain is part of the UCI Europe Tour. In 2009, the Prostate Cancer Charity became the official charity partner of the Tour.
- 1 History
- 2 'Tour of Britain' winners 1945–1999
- 3 The modern tour
- 4 Palmarès
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The Tour of Britain, known for many years as the Milk Race, has its origins in a dispute between cyclists during the Second World War. The British administrative body, the National Cyclists' Union (NCU), had feared since the 19th century that massed racing on the roads would endanger all racing, including early-morning time trials and, originally, the very place of cyclists on the road.
A race organised from Llangollen to Wolverhampton on 7 June 1942, in defiance of the NCU, led to its organisers and riders being banned. They formed a new body, the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC), which wanted not only massed racing but a British version of the Tour de France.
The first stage, or multi-day, race in Britain was the Southern Grand Prix in Kent in August 1944. It was won by Les Plume of Manchester; the first stage was won by Percy Stallard, the organiser of the Llangollen-Wolverhampton race in 1942.
The experience encouraged the BLRC to run a bigger race, the Victory Cycling Marathon, to celebrate the end of the war in 1945. It ran from Brighton to Glasgow in five stages and was won by Robert Batot of France, with Frenchmen in six places in the top 10, winners of the mountains competition and best team.
Chas Messenger, a BLRC official and historian, said: "No one had ever put on a stage race in this country, other than the Southern Grand Prix, and even fewer people had even seen one. So raw were they that Jimmy Kain (the organiser) even wrote to the Auto-Cycle Union – the body for motorcycle racing – and the flags used by them were taken as a guide to what was needed. Kain recalled the precarious budget: "£44 entry fees and £130 of my own money and £16 when I went round with the hat after the Bradford stage."
The writer Roger St Pierre said:
- "It was reported that 20,000 watched the start but I've seen a picture which would indicate it was probably three or four times that number. What outsiders didn't see though was just what a ramshackle affair it all was, with riders finishing stages often miles longer than billed then having to find a bed for the night – with the poorer riders ending up spending the night huddled in barns, haylofts or even under the hedgerows."
The BLRC was not recognised by the world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale and so it recruited its French riders from another rebel organisation, the communist Fédération Sportive et Gymnastique du Travail, using French café-owners in Soho, London, as their link.
Sponsors and politics
The Victory Cycling Marathon was run on what little money the BLRC could raise. Riders stayed in cheap boarding houses and officials used their own cars. In 1947, the News of the World gave £500 to the race, by then called Brighton-Glasgow. Within a year it pulled out again, concerned by the internal arguments that had bedevilled the BLRC from the start. The 1950 race was sponsored by Sporting Record, another newspaper, followed by the Daily Express in 1951.
The cycling official John Dennis said in 2002:
- "The most effective sponsor of the Tour of Britain (the Daily Express) was lost as a result of the constant bickering between rival officials and organisations. I was the press officer to the Express publicity director, Albert Asher, and saw it all happen. He was upset by the petty disagreements and decided to support the new Formula 1 motor-racing instead."
Sponsorship was taken up by the makers of Quaker Oats in 1954 and then, in 1958, by the Milk Marketing Board.
The Milk Race
The Milk Marketing Board (MMB) was a sales monopoly for dairy farmers in England and Wales. A semi-professional cyclist from Derby, Dave Orford, asked the MMB to pay for "Drink more milk" to be embroidered on the jersey of every semi-professional, or independent, rider in the country. The MMB could then advertise that races had been won because of the properties of milk and the winner would receive a £10 bonus as a result.
Orford met the MMB's publicity officer, Reg Pugh, at the board's headquarters in Thames Ditton, west of London. Orford said: "At the end of the discussion he stated that the MMB would prefer to sponsor a major international marathon. So the Milk Race, the Tour of Britain, was born, starting in 1958 and lasting for 35 years, the longest cycle sponsorship in the UK ever."
The first two races were open to semi-professionals but from 1960 until 1984 it was open only to amateurs. From 1985 until 1993 the Milk Race was open to both amateurs and professionals. After 1993 the Milk Race ended as the MMB was wound up because of European monopoly laws.
Kellogg's Tour and PruTour
The professional Kellogg's Tour of Britain began in 1987 and eight editions were completed. This Tour, particularly in its early years, was characterised by very long hilly stages, a typical example being the Newcastle to Manchester stage via the Yorkshire Dales in the 1987 event. The Prudential plc-sponsored PruTour (1998–1999) ran twice. Concerns about safety during the races contributed to both events' demise through the withdrawal of sponsorship; in the case of the Kellogg's Tour this followed a member of the public driving head-on into the peloton in the Lake District, and in the case of the PruTour a police motorcyclist being killed in a collision with a motorist near Worcester.
'Tour of Britain' winners 1945–1999
Year Race name Rider status Winner Team/Country 1945 Victory Marathon amateur Robert Batot France 1946 Brighton-Glasgow am-ind Mike Peers Manchester 1947 Brighton-Glasgow am-ind George Kessock Paris Cycles 1948 Brighton-Glasgow am-ind Tom Saunders Dayton Cycles 1949 Brighton-Glasgow am-ind Geoff Clark ITP 1950 Brighton-Glasgow am-ind George Lander Fréjus Cycles 1951 Butlin Tour amateur Stan Blair England 1951 Brighton-Glasgow amateur Ian Greenfield Comet CC 1951 Tour of Britain am-ind Ian Steel Viking Cycles 1952 Brighton-Glasgow amateur Bill Bellamy Romford CC 1952 Tour of Britain am-pro Ken Russell Ellis Briggs 1953 Brighton-Newcastle amateur Frank Edwards Norfolk Olympic 1953 Tour of Britain am-ind Gordon Thomas BSA Cycles 1954 Circuit of Britain amateur Viv Bailes Teesside 1954 Tour of Britain am-ind Eugène Tambourlini France 1955 Circuit of Britain amateur Des Robinson Yorkshire 1955 Tour of Britain am-ind Tony Hewson Sheffield 1956 Circuit of Britain amateur Dick McNeill North-east 1958 Milk Race am-ind Richard Durlacher Austria 1959 Milk Race am-ind Bill Bradley England 1960 Milk Race amateur Bill Bradley England 1961 Milk Race amateur Billy Holmes England 1962 Milk Race amateur Eugen Pokorny Poland 1963 Milk Race amateur Pete Chisman England 1964 Milk Race amateur Arthur Metcalfe England 1965 Milk Race amateur Les West Midlands 1966 Milk Race amateur Józef Gawliczek Poland 1967 Milk Race amateur Les West Britain 1968 Milk Race amateur Gösta Pettersson Sweden 1969 Milk Race amateur Fedor den Hertog Netherlands 1970 Milk Race amateur Jiri Manus Czechoslovakia 1971 Milk Race amateur Fedor den Hertog Netherlands 1972 Milk Race amateur Hennie Kuiper Netherlands 1973 Milk Race amateur Piet van Katwijk Netherlands 1974 Milk Race amateur Roy Schuiten Netherlands 1975 Milk Race amateur Bernt Johansson Sweden 1976 Milk Race amateur Bill Nickson Britain 1977 Milk Race amateur Said Gusseinov USSR 1978 Milk Race amateur Jan Brzeźny Poland 1979 Milk Race amateur Yuri Kashirin USSR 1980 Milk Race amateur Ivan Mitchenko USSR 1981 Milk Race amateur Sergei Krivosheev USSR 1982 Milk Race amateur Yuri Kashirin USSR 1983 Milk Race amateur Matt Eaton USA 1984 Milk Race amateur Oleg Czougeda USSR 1985 Milk Race pro-am Eric van Lancker Fangio 1986 Milk Race pro-am Joey McLoughlin ANC 1987 Milk Race pro-am Malcolm Elliott ANC 1987 Kellogg's Tour pro Joey McLoughlin ANC 1988 Milk Race pro-am Vasily Zhdanov USSR 1988 Kellogg's Tour pro Malcolm Elliott Fagor 1989 Milk Race pro-am Brian Walton 7-Eleven 1989 Kellogg's Tour pro Robert Millar Z-Peugeot 1990 Milk Race pro-am Shane Sutton Banana 1990 Kellogg's Tour pro Malcolm Elliott Teka 1991 Milk Race pro-am Chris Walker Banana 1991 Kellogg's Tour pro Phil Anderson Motorola 1992 Milk Race pro-am Conor Henry Ireland 1992 Kellogg's Tour pro Max Sciandri Motorola 1993 Milk Race pro-am Chris Lillywhite Banana 1993 Kellogg's Tour pro Phil Anderson Motorola 1994 Kellogg's Tour pro Maurizio Fondriest Lampre 1998 PruTour pro Stuart O'Grady Crédit Agricole 1999 PruTour pro Marc Wauters Rabobank
The modern tour
Rider Team 2004 Mauricio Ardila (COL) Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf 2005 Nick Nuyens (BEL) Quick Step-Innergetic 2006 Martin Pedersen (DEN) Team CSC 2007 Romain Feillu (FRA) Agritubel 2008 Geoffroy Lequatre (FRA) Agritubel 2009 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Team Columbia-HTC 2010 Michael Albasini (SUI) Team HTC-Columbia 2011 Lars Boom (NED) Rabobank
2004 Tour of Britain
The 2004 Tour of Britain was the first edition of the latest version of the Tour of Britain. It took place over five days in early September 2004, organised by SweetSpot in collaboration with British Cycling, and was the first Tour of Britain to be held since 1999. Sponsored by the organisers of London's 2012 Olympics bid, it attracted teams such as T-Mobile and U.S. Postal Service. It was designated a 2.3 category race on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar.
The tour climaxed with a 45 miles (72 km) criterium in London, where an estimated 100,000 spectators saw a long break by Bradley Wiggins last until the penultimate lap, before Enrico Degano of Team Barloworld took the sprint on the line. The Colombian Mauricio Ardila, of Chocolade Jacques, won the race overall.
2005 Tour of Britain
The 2005 race was run as a UCI 2.1 category in six stages starting in Glasgow on 30 August and finishing in London on 4 September:
2006 Tour of Britain
The Tour of Britain 2006 took place from the 29 August to 3 September as a UCI category 2.1 event. Martin Pedersen and Andy Schleck of Team CSC won the overall and King of the Mountains classification, respectively. Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile Team) won the points classification and Johan van Summeren (Davitamon-Lotto) the sprints classification.
2007 Tour of Britain
The Tour of Britain was extended to seven days for 2007, with the extra day being used to run a stage in Somerset for the first time.
Instead of finishing in London, the 2007 race started in London and finished in Glasgow, which used the event to boost its bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. French rider Romain Feillu won overall, Mark Cavendish won the points competition and Ben Swift won the mountains competition.
2008 Tour of Britain
2009 Tour of Britain
The sixth edition of The Tour of Britain was also raced over eight days,12–19 September. The race started in Scunthorpe and finished in London.
2010 Tour of Britain
The 2010 edition of the Tour of Britain was held from 11 to 18 September.
2011 Tour of Britain
- ^ Tour Ride
- ^ "From James Moore to Laurent Fignon", Cyclist Monthly, Sept 1983
- ^ "100 years of racing", Cycling, 29 April 1978
- ^ a b Messenger, Chas (1998). Ride and be Damned. Harpenden: Pedal Publishing. p. 151. ISBN 9780953409600.
- ^ Letter to Percy Stallard, 1 January 1979
- ^ St Pierre, Roger, Cycling Plus, UK, undated
- ^ Fellowship News, Fellowship of Cycling Old Timers, issue 28, 2002
- ^ Private papers, January 2003
- ^ Robin Nicholl (10 August 1994). "Cycling: Rogue driver stuns riders". The Independent (UK). http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cycling-rogue-driver-stuns-riders-1382578.html.
- ^ Martin Ayres (29 May 1998). "Cycling: Death of police escort rider cancels Tour of Britain stage". The Independent (UK). http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cycling-death-of-police-escort-rider-cancels-tour-of-britain-stage-1156744.html.
- ^ seven-stage race between Butlin holiday camps
- ^ Fotheringham, William (13 December 2003). "Plans for Tour of Britain to return". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2003/dec/13/cycling.cycling. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- ^ "Tour of Britain 2004". Tour of Britain. http://www.tourofbritain.com/_ns_history/history_2004.asp. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- ^ "The Route". The Tour of Britain. 16 May 2008. http://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/therace_stage_pages/2008_route.asp. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
- ^ "Tour of Britain: Second stage cancelled because of high winds". BBC Sport. 12 September 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cycling/14879182.stm. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- ^ Fotheringham, William (18 September 2011). "Mark Cavendish warms up for Worlds with Tour of Britain stage win". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/sep/18/mark-cavendish-tour-of-britain. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
Tour of Britain
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