Pillar's Guide to the Tour of Britain: Everything you need to know

Tour of Britain Sep 01, 2021

After a year's absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tour of Britain returns to the racing calendar for its 17th edition. The 2021 Tour of Britain will take place from Sunday 5th of September in Penzance to Sunday 12th of September in Aberdeen. The race starts in Cornwall for the first time before making its way up through Wales and England to the finish in Scotland.

We've put together the following guide so you can fully appreciate this year's Tour of Britain.

The Tour of Britain riders

After an exciting year of racing so far, this year's Tour of Britain isn't one to miss out on. The race will host some of the best teams and riders in the world.

The last edition was won by Alpecin-Fenix rider Mathieu van der Poel. Among the favourites to win this years title, in his debut Tour of Britain, is Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). The Belgian national champion has been dominant all year, and this year's route will suit the young Belgian rider.

A former winner and current road world champion, Julian Alaphilippe, is also returning to the Tour of Britain for the first time since winning the race in 2018. Will the French man be strong enough to challenge Wout van Aert for this year's title?

Following his success at the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish was the first rider to be confirmed for this year's race. With a hand full of sprint stage opportunities available, can the Manx Missile take a few stage wins to add to his winning streak already gained at this year's Tour de France?

Where to watch the Tour of Britain

To keep up with all the race action the race is available to watch on ITV4 and Eurosport. Pillar will also be providing you with a daily summary of the race events:

Pillar's Tour of Britain daily update

We've been following the Tour of Britain 2021 with a close eye, doing the hard work so you don't have to. Read the summary of each stage in the tour below:

Day one

Day two

Day three

Day four

Day five

The Tour of Britain 2021 - The Jerseys

Leader's Jersey

The royal blue leader's jersey is awarded to the rider leading the Tour of Britain overall. Mathieu van der Poel is the current previous winner of the blue leader's jersey. It is the Tour of Britain's equivalent of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

SportsBreaks.com Points Jersey

The light blue jersey is awarded to the rider leading the points classification. Matteo Trentin is the most current previous winner of this jersey. It's the Tour of Britain's equivalent of the green jersey in the Tour de France.

Skoda King of the Mountains Jersey

The green jersey is awarded to the best climber in the race. Jake Scott is the most current previous winner of this jersey. This is the Tour of Britain's equivalent of the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France.

Eisberg Sprints Jersey

The red jersey is awarded to the best sprinter in the race. Rory Townsend is the previous winner of this jersey.

The Tour of Britain 2021 - Route

The 2021 Grand Depart will be hosted in Cornwall, and the route will make its way through Wales before finishing in Scotland. This year's course will see riders covering a total of 1,320 kilometres over eight stages.

Stage 1 (Penzance → Bodmin) - 5th September 2021

The 2021 Tour of Britain gets underway with the Grand Depart through the Cornish countryside, starting in Penzance and ending in Bodmin. The riders will face a challenging first stage with many sharp climbs included in the opening stage. With a tough climb close to the finish, it may be a day for the punchers.

Stage 2 (Sherford → Exeter) - 6th September 2021

The second stage will take place around the challenging roads of Devon with the stage finishing in Exeter. The peloton will take on three category two climbs along the route, two of these happening at the closing end of the stage. However, with a descent and flat in the last 10 kilometres, it could be a day for the sprinters.

Stage 3 (Llandeilo → National Botanic Garden of Wales) - 7th September 2021

Stage three will see all teams racing against the clock in a Team Time Trial. The stage starts in the Welsh town of Llandeilo and finishes in the National Botanical Garden of Wales. Can the British UCI Continental team Ribble Weldtite, with the expertise of aero guru Dan Bingham, challenge for the stage win?

Stage 4 (Aberaeron → Great Orme, Llandudno) - 8th September 2021

Stage four is this year's queens stage and the first challenging day for the GC riders. This stage is set out to be a tough day in the saddle. The riders will cover a total distance of 209 kilometres, with two second category climbs and two first category climbs, including a hill-top finish. The final climb is 1.9 kilometres up the Great Orme Climb with an average gradient of 9.8%

Stage 5 (Alderley Park → Warrington) - 9th September 2021

Stage five could be the first real opportunity for the quick men and the sprinter's teams. After a tough first four days, stage five will provide riders with an easier day of racing.

Stage 6 (Carlisle → Gateshead) - 10th September 2021

The riders will face an uphill finish into Gateshead on stage six of the tour. Another hard day with three first category climbs close together. This could be a day for breakaway men or another day for the GC contenders before the two flatter last stages of the Tour.

Stage 7 (Hawick → Edinburgh) - 11th September 2021

Stage seven brings the riders into Scotland and the stage makes for the finish line in Edinburgh. A flatter stage compared to the previous opening days may offers a great opportunity for the sprinters.

Stage 8 (Stonehaven → Aberdeen) - 12th September 2021

The tour finishes with a likely stage for the sprinters. The last stage heads from Stonehaven to Aberdeen, with one first category climb early in the stage and two third category climb later on in the day. After eight days of racing, who will be standing on top of the podium at Aberdeen?

The Tour of Britain 2021 - Teams and Riders

Once again, this year's Tour has attracted some of the best teams and the worlds best riders. This year's lineup includes eighteen teams, which include a mixture of World Tour Teams, UCI Pro Teams, and Continental Teams. All five of the British Continental teams (Canyon dhb SunGod, Ribble Weldtitle, Saint Piran, SwiftCarbon Pro Racing, Trinity Racing) have been included for this year's edition.

What team and riders will you be supporting this year? If you're not sure yet,  take a look below at the full list of teams taking part and the provisional start list.

Alpecin-Fenix:

Xandro Meurisse (BEL)

Silvan Dillier (SUI)

Jimmy Janssens (BEL)

Ben Tulett (GBR)

Alexandar Richardson (GBR)

Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)

Caja Rual-Seguros RGA:

Jokin Murugialady (ESP)

Jon Barrenetxea (ESP)

Josu Etxeberria (ESP)

David Gonzalez (ESP)

Sergio Roman Martin (ESP)

Joel Nicolau (ESP)

Canyon dhb SunGod:

Rory Townsend (IRL)

Matt Bostock (GBR)

Ryan Christensen (NZL)

Thomas Mein (GBR)

Jacob Scott (GBR)

Max Stedman (GBR)

Deceuninck Quick-Step:

Mark Cavendish (GBR)

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)

Davide Ballerini (ITA)

Tim Declercq (BEL)

Mikkel Honore (DEN)

Yves Lampaert (BEL)

Global 6 Cycling:

Antoine Berlin (MON)

Hans Becking (NED)

Dan Erik Hansen (NOR)

James Mitri (NZL)

Michal Paluta (POL)

Nicolas Sessler (BRA)

Great Britain:

Rhys Britton (GBR)

Alfie George (GBR)

Max Rushby (GBR)

William Tidball (GBR)

Ethan Vernon (GBR)

Sam Watson (GBR)

INEOS Grenadiers:

Ethan Hayter (GBR)

Rohan Dennis (AUS)

Owain Doull (GBR)

Michal Kwiatowski (POL)

Carlos Rodriguez (ESP)

Richie Port (AUS)

Israel Start-Up nation:

Dan Martin (IRL)

Patrick Bevin (NZL)

Matthias Brandle (AUT)

Alessandro De Marchi (ITA)

Alex Dowsett (GBR)

Michael Woods (CAN)

Movistar Team:

Mark Soler (ESP)

Jorge Arcas (ESP)

Gabriel Cullaigh (GBR)

Matteo Jorgenson (USA)

Gregor Muhlberger (AUT)

Rally Cycling:

Joey Rosskopf (USA)

Robin Carpenter (USA)

Collin Joyce (USA)

Gavin Mannion (USA)

Kyle Murphy (USA)

Nickolas Zukoesky (CAN)

Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling:

James Shaw (GBR)

Dan Bingham (GBR)

Matt Gibson (GBR)

Gruff Lewis (GBR)

Charles Page (GBR)

Simon Wilson (GBR)

Saint Piran:

Steve Lampier (GBR)

Ross Holland (GBR)

Oliver Maxwell (GBR)

Tom Mazzone (GBR)

Bradley Symonds (GBR)

Jenson Young (GBR)

SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling:

Chris Latham (GBR)

Will Bjergfelt (GBR)

Ross Lamb (GBR)

Darragh O'Mahony (IRL)

Oliver Peckover (GBR)

Alex Peters (GBR)

Team Arkea-Samsic:

Connor Swift (GBR)

Maxime Bouet (FRA)

Miguel Eduardo Florez (COL)

Dan McLay (GBR)

Lukasz Owsian (POL)

Bram Welten (NED)

Team DSM:

Mark Donovan (GBR)

Romain Combaud (FRA)

Nils Eekhoff (NED)

Max Kanter (GER)

Tim Naberman (NED)

Nicholas Roche (IRL)

Team Jumbo Visma Cycling:

Wout Van Aert (BEL)

George Bennett (NZL)

Chris Harper (AUS)

Pascal Eenkhoorn (NED)

Tonias Foss (NOR)

Tony Martin (GER)

Team Qhubeka NextHash:

Nic Dlamin (RSA)

Carlos Barbero (USA)

Sean Bennett (USA)

Simon Clarke (AUS)

Mauro Schmid (SUI)

Lukasz Wisiniowski (POL)

Trinity Racing:

Thomas Gloag (GBR)

Sam Culverwell (GBR)

Ben Healy (IRL)

Luke Lamperti (USA)

Ben Turner (GBR)

Max Walker (GBR)


Are you as excited as the Pillar team for the start of this year's race?  If so, keep an eye out for more related Tour of Britain posts and blogs.

If that's not enough, you can train like the pro riders by downloading the Pillar app for iPhone and Android:

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Welcome to Pillar! We’re a small UK-based team (full of real athletes) who are developing an app dedicated to all areas of cycling training. Whatever pains you can think of related to your training, we want to solve them. Pillar is still at an early stage. The first feature we’ve built is an adap…
‎Pillar
Welcome to Pillar! We’re a small UK-based team (full of real athletes) who are developing an app dedicated to all areas of cycling training. Whatever pains you can think of related to your training, we want to solve them. Pillar is still at an early stage. The first feature we’ve built is an adap…

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Ifan Roberts

Enthusiastic sport scientist, crazy about all things endurance.