All five of Britain’s UCI Continental teams and a Great Britain national squad have today been unveiled as the first confirmed teams for this year’s Tour of Britain (5-12 September).

Canyon dhb SunGod and SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling will return to the UK’s most prestigious race, having previously won jerseys in the event, while Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, Saint Piran and TRINITY Racing will make their Tour debuts in September.

Tour of Britain organiser SweetSpot and British Cycling have issued invites to all five of Britain’s UCI Continental teams for the 2021 race in recognition of the challenges posed and the lack of racing opportunities since last March owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a desire to assist them with current and future commercial partnerships in a challenging economic climate.

Their participation will mark the most home teams in the race since the 2015 Tour of Britain, when six British UCI Continental teams competed. Owing to the unprecedented demand from UCI World and ProTeams to compete in the event over the past decade, SweetSpot and British Cycling introduced a season-long qualifying process in 2016 to reward those teams who both supported and performed the best in the leading domestic races. The selection criteria for UCI Continental teams will be re-introduced for the 2022 Tour of Britain, and SweetSpot and British Cycling will work with teams to confirm the process in Autumn 2021.

The Great Britain Cycling Team – who have ridden 13 of the 16 modern Tours to date, including every edition since 2012 – complete today’s team announcement. Their involvement allows future stars to gain invaluable experience in one of the world’s leading races. Among those who have lined up in the race in home colours are reigning Giro d’Italia champion Tao Geoghegan Hart, 2018 Vuelta a Espana victor Simon Yates and Grand Tour stage winner Hugh Carthy.

In quotes

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing the first six teams competing in the long-awaited 2021 Tour of Britain. Together with British Cycling, we understand the challenges that they have faced over the past 14 months. We hope that these early invitations give them the chance to plan ahead to September, safe in the knowledge that their place is assured, so that they can arrive at the Tour of Britain in the best possible condition. We know from recent editions of the race that the Great British squad and domestic teams can illuminate the race – I’m looking forward to more of the same later this year!”

Stephen Park, Performance Director at the Great Britain Cycling Team said: “The Tour of Britain always presents our young riders with a fantastic opportunity to go shoulder to shoulder with the world’s best teams and riders, and I know that the experience was invaluable for the development of the likes of Ethan Hayter, Matt Walls and Fred Wright, who have all since gone on to make their mark on the UCI WorldTour. Having all five of Britain’s UCI Continental teams in the race is great news for the domestic sport and the fans watching from the roadside too, and the Great Britain Cycling Team squad can’t wait to join them on the start line in September.”

Details of the UCI World and Pro Teams competing in the Tour of Britain will be announced in the summer.