The OVO Energy Tour of Britain will return to Manchester city centre for the first time in 15 years this September as Greater Manchester hosts the final stage of Britain’s most prestigious cycle race.

Beginning in George Square Glasgow on Saturday 7 September, the eight day race will take the world’s top teams and riders across a 1,250-kilometre route through the south of Scotland, England’s North East and North West and the Heart of England before the finale takes place in Manchester for the first time on Saturday 14 September.

Across the eight stages riders will tackle uphill finishes at in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, Kendal in Cumbria and Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire.

Tour of Britain 2019 route

Stage-by-stage details

Stage one: Glasgow to Kirkcudbright (201.5km), Saturday 7 September

Stage one will take the race from Glasgow city centre to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries & Galloway, with the region hosting the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the 10th time.  At 201 kilometres long, the opening day will be the longest of the 2019 race.

Stage two: The Scottish Borders stage (166.5km), Sunday 8 September

For the first time in modern race history, Scotland hosts the opening pair of stages, with day two taking place entirely within the Scottish Borders. The stage will start and finish on the cobbled Market Square in Kelso, scene of Caleb Ewan’s victory on the opening day of the 2017 tour. 

Stage three: Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (182.2km), Monday 9 September

Two stages then take place in England’s North East, the first of which is a North of Tyne stage from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Monday 9 September. Expect fireworks on the finishing drag up Grey Street, right in the heart of Newcastle city centre.

Stage four: Gateshead to Kendal (171.5km), Tuesday 10 September

Stage four begins in Gateshead, just across the River Tyne from where the previous day’s racing ended. Riders will cross the Pennines and head through the Yorkshire Dales National Park during a stage containing almost 3,000 metres of climbing.  The stage finish will be on the 500-metre, 11% average climb of Beast Banks in the South Lakeland town of Kendal, which hosts a finish of the race for a fourth time.

Stage five: The Wirral Stage (174km), Wednesday 11 September

Action resumes on Wednesday 11 September as the OVO Energy Tour of Britain returns to Merseyside for the first time in five years with Wirral hosting stage five.  The leg will start and finish in Birkenhead Park and include a finishing circuit, making it one of the most spectator friendly of the whole race.

Stage six: The Worcestershire stage (distance TBC), Thursday 12 September

Riders will then do battle in a stage entirely within Worcestershire for the first time on Thursday 12 September, one that will help shape who succeeds Julian Alaphillipe as the winner of the OVO Energy green jersey. More details of stage six will be announced in due course.

Stage seven: Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park (186.5km), Friday 13 September

The penultimate stage of the race is in Warwickshire, featuring an 186.5-kilometre route that starts in historic Warwick and finishes with three ascents of the 1.4-kilometre, 4.9% average gradient climb of Burton Dassett.  The stage will take in two full laps of a 12.5-kilometre finishing circuit ensuring an exciting and action packed finale.

Stage eight: Altrincham to Deansgate, Manchester (165km), Saturday 14 September

The final stage sees the OVO Energy Tour of Britain host a finish in Manchester city centre for the first time since the inaugural edition of the modern race in 2004. The final day of racing will see the peloton tackling a 165-kilometre route, one that starts Altrincham, includes almost 2,000 metres of climbing – notably featuring the famous climb of the Rake at Ramsbottom – and passes through all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester en route to the line in Deansgate. 

Reaction to today’s national launch

“This year’s race is a quintessentially British affair, combining the short and sharp climbs we’re famed for with finishes for the world’s best sprinters and hopefully a few surprises along the way,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.

“But more than ever this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain route has been designed with spectators in mind. From visiting three iconic cities and including uphill finishes that are guaranteed to create drama to using finishing circuits, this year’s race will play a big role in helping Britain become a great cycling nation.”

Commenting on the announcement, British Cycling Chief Executive Julie Harrington said: “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain goes from strength to strength each year and has captured the hearts and minds of the nation to become a staple in the British sporting calendar. So of course, this year’s edition will be extra special to us as Greater Manchester will not only welcome the race for the first time in 15 years, but host the final stage of the race.

“We share with all our event partners a determination that these events should not only showcase the very best of cycling at the highest level but provide necessary inspiration for people across Great Britain to get out on their bikes.

“The start of this legacy will be felt most keenly in our great city just 24 hours later, as HSBC UK Let’s Ride, our big-city, closed road family cycling festival rides into Manchester on Sunday 15 September.”

Adrian Letts, CEO of Retail, OVO Energy, added: “We’re incredibly excited for this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain to begin, bringing fans and spectators across the country unparalleled access to watch the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorsteps. This is our third year sponsoring the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and we’re thrilled to see an amazing route featured, ready to challenge the cyclists and entertain spectators.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome the Tour of Britain back to Greater Manchester as one of the biggest races in the calendar. Manchester is the home of British Cycling with some of the UK’s top riders based locally, so it seems fitting that the final stage of this incredible race returns to the region in September.”

Key race information

Each road stage will feature three intermediate Eisberg sprints, sponsored by the UK’s number one alcohol-free wine. Official car partner SKODA UK also continue their sponsorship of the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey into 2019.

ITV4 will screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights programme of the best of the action.