The countdown to the Isle of Wight hosting what promises to be the most spectacular final stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race has officially begun.

Today (Friday 12 August) marks 30 days until the UK’s leading cycling event becomes the biggest sporting event to ever take place on the island and promotes it to an international audience. Details of this stage were first announced on 4 July 2020, some 768 days ago.

Over 100 of the world’s best riders will tackle a 148.9km (92.6mi) stage that begins on Ryde Esplanade (11am) and culminates at The Needles (approximately 2:25pm) on Sunday 11 September. The route will pass through Bembridge, Sandown, Freshwater, Yarmouth, Cowes, Newport, Shanklin, Ventnor and Freshwater Bay. A large crowd is expected to turn out to watch this free-to-attend sporting spectacle. Never before has the final stage of the modern Tour culminated in a hill-top finish: the riders will tackle the two-kilometre climb up to the National Trust’s historic Needles Old Battery and New Battery to end this stage.

Photocalls with former professional and Tour of Britain ambassador Dan Martin featuring representatives from the stage’s partners – Isle of Wight Council, Visit Isle of Wight, GKN, Wightlink, Red Funnel, South Western Railway and the National Trust – and local riders were held in Ryde and at The Needles to mark the occasion.


Dan Martin, a former Tour de France stage winner who used to train on the island, said: “I know these roads very well and it’s safe to say that this stage is potentially harder than it may appear. The Isle of Wight is full of short, steep climbs – like the one coming out of Ventnor, for example.

“There’s the potential for crosswinds along the Military Road, which could play havoc with the tired legs in the peloton, before the final sting in the tail comes in the form of the climb up to the Needles. Whoever takes the victory will be a deserved winner. I can’t wait to see how the racing plays out!”

Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up, Regeneration, Business Development and Tourism, said: “The excitement is already building and the next few weeks will see the finishing touches for what will be a remarkable final stage of the tour.

“Riders, spectators and viewers from around the world will see the island has so much to offer from traditional seaside towns to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and our historic county town. We are honoured and proud to be the venue and backdrop for the finale of a week’s outstanding and world class cycling.”

Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight, said: “With only a month to go, you can feel the excitement in the air as we come ever closer to the final stage of the Tour of Britain on the Isle of Wight. With the potential of millions of viewers watching the race through the live TV broadcast, it really is an incredible opportunity to show off what we have to offer for visitors here.

“I know that Islanders will give the teams the warm welcome for which the Isle of Wight is famous for, so let’s get out the bunting, gather some friends around and give them a cheer as they race at speed through the island’s beautiful countryside and along its incredible coastline.

“As one of only seven places in the UK with UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Status and with 50% of the Island classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, those watching the race will be in for a fantastic and inspiring visual treat – let’s make this final stage of Tour of Britain here on the Sunday 11 September, one that will live long in the memories of islanders, visitors and potential visitors.”

Gary Meek, National Trust Visitor Operations & Experience Manager, said: “National Trust welcomes the Tour of Britain to Isle of Wight. Our keen local cycling community and ever-growing number of day and touring cyclist visitors enjoy some amazing and challenging routes across the island that take in some of the most breath-taking nature and beauty the UK has to offer. We are delighted to host the finish of the final stage, with the exhilarating climb to The Needles New Battery, which is surrounded by the stunning cliff-top backdrop of the Needles Headland countryside and The Needles, one of the most iconic landmarks in the UK, looking on.”

Photo: Dan Martin and stage eight sponsors launched the Isle of Wight finale with a photocall in Ryde

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said: “Working alongside island businesses to welcome the Tour of Britain to the Isle of Wight is proud moment. With the Tour going through so many iconic locations on the island including Cowes and Newport, and finishing at Needles Old Battery, islanders and tourists alike will have a great opportunity to see this spectacle in motion. We’re delighted to help connect so many people with this beautiful island and all its natural beauty and we are proud to play our part in bringing the UK’s leading cycling event to local residents and visitors on the Isle of Wight.”

Keith Greenfield, Wightlink chief executive, said: “The excitement is building on the Isle of Wight and here at Wightlink and we can’t wait to welcome the teams onboard our ferries. The island is a great place for both professional and amateur cyclists and it’s going to be an unforgettable day.” 

Nigel Hartley, CEO of the stage’s charity partner Mountbatten: “We are really excited to be part of what promises to be a really amazing spectacle. All eyes will be on the Island for the Tour of Britain race and I am delighted we can be involved.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of Mountbatten, our work and how we support people in so many ways. We are really grateful to the organisers for welcoming us as the official race charity and we look forward to announcing more details about our plans in the coming weeks.”

Photo: Isle of Wight council leader councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox and Dan Martin at The Needles Old and New Battery

Information for fans

Full stage details are available online at

Stage eight will be shown live and in full on ITV4 from 10:45am on race day, with highlights following that evening at 8pm.

While fans can watch all the action by the roadside for free, race day hospitality packages offering guaranteed prime views of stage starts and finishes, as well as unforgettable experiences featuring Tour de France stage winner Dan Martin are now available. Visit and for more information.

Tour of Britain hospitality