Wirral hosts its first-ever stage of the modern OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Wednesday as the 2019 race enters its second half with everything left to play for.

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus Cycling Team) moved into the race lead on Tuesday after winning atop the Beast Banks climb in Kendal, Cumbria, but could also challenge for the stage victory again on Wednesday on flatter but truly scenic terrain in Birkenhead Park.

The stage begins (at 11:00) where it ends a few hours later, before passing through the old training roads of 2016 Tour of Britain champion and Merseysider Steve Cummings, who’ll be in action for Team Dimension Data.

Stage route and profile

Key timings

 Birkenhead Park, Birkenhead (stage start): 11:00

 Kelsall Hill (SKODA King of the Mountains): 13:07

 Heswall (Eisberg sprint): 14:02

 Hoylake (Eisberg sprint): 14:20

 Flaybrick Hill (SKODA King of the Mountains): 14:35

 Birkenhead Park (Eisberg sprint): 14:40

 Flaybrick Hill (SKODA King of the Mountains): 15:18

 Birkenhead Park, Birkenhead (stage finish): 15:23

Click here to explore and download the full stage five timetable

UK TV schedule

ITV4 will show the stage in full, presented by Matt Barbet and Yanto Barker, with pre-race coverage beginning at 10:45. Hour-long highlights will be shown at 20:00.

Eurosport Player (subscription service) will show the race live from 12:30 until its conclusion, with highlights on Eurosport 1 at 21:45.

Click here for more information and worldwide TV coverage details.

Weather forecast

Start – Birkenhead Park: 17°C (feels like 19°C), 8% chance of rain

Finish – Birkenhead Park: 17°C (feels like 18°C), 2% chance of rain

Jersey standings

Tour of Britain stage five

OVO Energy green jersey: Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus Cycling Team)

Cetaphil points jersey: Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

SKODA King of the Mountains jersey: Jake Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling)

Eisberg sprints jersey: Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes)

Click here for current race standings.

Instant Expert

Wirral rider Steve Cummings, a two-time Tour de France stage winner, rode for Birkenhead North End CC as a junior. He won the 2016 OVO Energy Tour of Britain and is competing in this year’s race for Team Dimension Data.

Birkenhead Park is a special place for me because I did my first race there when I was 13. I used to race with the under-16s and then stay around to watch the seniors in action. To have the opportunity to go back there 25 years on to start a professional race will no doubt be very special to me. I hope to have family, friends and club mates who have always supported me there on the day.

“Along the route we pass Leasowe Road, which is where I used to train twice a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) after school. We also pass through Hoylake, the home of the Boardman family, and then West Kirby, which is where I live now when I’m in the UK. 

“I have a friend Stan Moly, who lives in Heswall, which is also along the route. He took me on my first ride – I know he is very proud that the race passes through the village.  

“Eventually we do a big loop through Cheshire and Chester, which are all familiar training roads from the past. I think it will be a great day for the local community and I’m really looking forward to going home.”       

Downloads and links

Click here to visit the stage five hub | Click here to explore the stage five timetable