The world’s top three teams will be among 18 squads competing in next month’s Tour of Britain.
INEOS Grenadiers, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Team Jumbo - Visma will line up in the 17th edition of the UK’s leading bike race, with Devon hosting Stage Two of The Tour on Monday 6 September.
They are among the seven UCI WorldTeams – along with Israel Start-Up Nation, Movistar Team, Team DSM and Team Qhubeka NextHash – who will take part in the eight-day event, starting in Cornwall on Sunday 5 September.
They will be joined by four UCI ProTeams, including the Belgian Alpecin - Fenix squad of reigning Tour of Britain champion Mathieu van der Poel.
The 18 teams competing in the 2021 Tour of Britain are:
• Alpecin - Fenix (Belgium)
• Caja Rural - Seguros RGA (Spain)
• Canyon dhb SunGod (Great Britain)
• Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Belgium)
• Global 6 Cycling (New Zealand) – first appearance in 2021
• Great Britain (Great Britain)
• INEOS Grenadiers (Great Britain)
• Israel Start-Up Nation (Israel)
• Movistar Team (Spain)
• Rally Cycling (USA) – first appearance in 2021
• Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling (Great Britain) – first appearance in 2021
• Saint Piran (Great Britain) – first appearance in 2021
• SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling (Great Britain)
• Team Arkéa - Samsic (France) – first appearance in 2021
• Team DSM (Germany)
• Team Jumbo - Visma (Netherlands)
• Team Qhubeka NextHash (South Africa)
• TRINITY Racing (Great Britain) – first appearance in 2021
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “What a race we have in store for us this September! Once again, we’ve attracted the world’s biggest teams to the Tour of Britain, and I know they’re going to put on a show for the home fans and our worldwide TV audience. Combined with those British domestic teams we’ve invited, who always ride fearlessly and get stuck in, I really cannot wait for the racing to begin now!”
The announcement has been welcomed in Devon, where Stage Two will cover 115 miles from Sherford, in the South Hams, to Queen Street in Exeter.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “It’s an incredible line-up of teams for this year’s Tour so there’s a lot to look forward to for Stage Two in Devon on Monday 6 September. Whether you’re a cycling fan or just want to watch the spectacle of the event, this is a great opportunity to see the world’s best cycling teams and stars of the sport on our doorstep. Let’s make this year’s Tour really special to help kickstart Devon’s economic recovery. Following another successful Olympics for Team GB, hopefully it will also inspire people to take up cycling or return to cycling - I can’t wait.”
Councillor Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We’re fresh off the back of an exhilarating and hugely successful Olympic Games in Tokyo. Once again, the haul of cycling medals that Team GB will bring home with them, across all disciplines, will have peaked interest in the sport. Having the world’s top three teams – backed up with four further UCI WorldTeams and four ProTeams – appearing at the Devon stage is hugely exciting. Some of the world’s best riders will be available to see up close and in person in the South Hams, plying their trade and creating a fantastic spectacle for residents. It should be an inspirational sight and I can’t wait for 6 September.”
Councillor Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said: “It’s a truly impressive line-up and a great array of cycling talent that will be descending on Exeter on 6 September for the finale of the Devon stage. Events like the Tour can be the inspiration for youngsters wanting to emulate their heroes or the kick-start for anyone wanting to get into cycling and take up a more active and healthy lifestyle. It can only be good news for the city.”
Ever-present in their home Tour since their inaugural 2010 season, INEOS Grenadiers will return to the race looking to add to their illustrious record of one overall triumph, 17 stage wins and two jersey victories. With eight British riders – including Tour of Britain stage winner Luke Rowe and podium finisher Owain Doull – among their 32-rider squad, home interest is all-but guaranteed in their six-rider line-up for the race.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step are the most successful team in modern Tour history, having claimed 22 stages and two overall victories since the race returned to the calendar in 2004. Their most recent GC victory came with Frenchman and reigning world champion Julian Alaphilippe in 2018. The team have already claimed 40 victories in 2021, meaning their six-rider squad promises to be incredibly strong.
The Dutch Jumbo - Visma team will compete in their 10th Tour of Britain this September, during which time they have won the race twice (through Dutchman Lars Boom, in 2010 and 2017) and taken 10 stage victories. They will be among the favourites for victory in stage three’s Carmarthenshire team time trial having triumphed in the equivalent stage three years ago.
Among the five teams making their Tour of Britain debut in 2021 are the American Rally Cycling outfit, with their distinctive bright orange jerseys, and Team Arkéa – Samsic, for whom former British road race champion Connor Swift and compatriot Dan McLay could be selected to compete.
The talented Spanish Caja Rural – Seguros team return for their first participation since 2016 while ambitious Kiwi outfit Global 6 Cycling will cap their debut season in the peloton with a ride in Britain’s biggest race.
Further home interest comes in the selection of all five of Britain’s UCI Continental teams: Canyon dhb SunGod, Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, Saint Piran, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling and TRINITY Racing. A Great Britain national team, likely to feature emerging talents, will also compete.
Further announcements about the provisional rider list for the Tour of Britain will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Tour of Britain is shown live and in full on ITV4, as well as in over 150 countries around the world. For more information go to https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/ and the Devon Stage of the Tour of Britain website.