20th Sep, 2018

Tour de France winners Thomas and Froome heading to the roads of Warwickshire

Ian Hughes 16th Aug, 2018

TOUR de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome are heading for the roads of Warwickshire in the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain.

The two Team Sky riders, who placed first and third in July’s Tour de France, will both be on competing when the biggest event in domestic cycling comes to the county on Wednesday September 5.

Thomas, the first Welshman to top the podium in the Tour de France when he won the event last month, is a regular at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, having ridden it eight times since his debut in 2005.

Froome is a four-time winner of the Tour de France, the current Giro D’Italia and Vuelta a Espana champion and one of the biggest names in the history of the sport

Race director Mick Bennett said: “We’re honoured and thrilled that Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

“To have two of Britain’s greatest ever riders – the reigning Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winners no less – competing in the race is fantastic news for our fans, who will line the streets in order to catch a glimpse of the heroes.

“We saw the amazing response that Geraint received during his homecoming celebrations in Cardiff.

“Since he last rode in the race, Chris has become – without any doubt – the leading Grand Tour rider of his generation. We’re delighted to welcome him back to the OVO Energy Tour of Britain after his Tour, Giro and Vuelta successes in the past year.”

The riders will set off from Nuneaton for the fourth stage of the event at 11am and head towards Atherstone before taking in the north Warwickshire countryside and Meriden.

They will then head to the University of Warwick, before passing Kenilworth and Warwick castles, en route to Stratford.

The riders will also have to take on three King of the Mountain climbs – an ascent of more than 1,700 metres. The first at Ilmington, followed others at Edge Hill and Burton Dassett Country Park.

The race will then head through Moreton Morrell, Wellesbourne, Kineton, Tysoe, Shipston, Fenny Compton and Southam, and then towards Princethorpe before finishing in the centre of Leamington.

The course has been designed to allow spectators to watch from several points along the way and full details of road arrangements are set to be announced later this month.

Thomas finished sixth overall in 2009 and wore the British Road Race Champion’s jersey during the race in 2010, while his seventh-placed finish in 2017 also saw him crowned the Adnams Best British Rider.

Froome’s two participations to date came in 2007 and 2009. He placed 31st overall on his debut, and was 50th two years later.

For the second year running, each of the eight stages of the race will be shown live and in full on ITV4.

 

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