Welcome back to The British Continental podcast!
We are absolutely delighted to be reviving our humble podcast this week to bring you another Tour of Britain diaries series.
Throughout the duration of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain, we’ll be taking you inside the race from the perspective of the domestic teams and riders with audio dispatches and interviews with managers, riders and staff.
For the domestic teams, the Tour of Britain is akin to the Tour de France. By far the biggest event in their racing calendars, a chance to showcase their sponsors, attract new investment and prove themselves against higher-tier opposition, and it’s a shop window too for the riders, keen to put on an eye-catching performance that might bag them a pro contract.
This year’s Tour is a bit like a British version of the Race to the Sun – or Paris-Nice as it’s more formally known – in that it starts in the north of the country and then heads south to warmer climes. The 2022 edition starts where the 2021 version finished - in the Scottish coastal city of Aberdeen. It finishes eight days later overlooking The Needles on the Isle of Wight.
It promises to be another tough edition. There is no team time trial – or any time trial for that matter – this year, meaning hilltop finishes, crosswinds, time bonuses and aggressive racing are likely to be the influential factors deciding the race’s overall winner. Any winner will certainly need good climbing legs. Every stage bar one - Stage 5 - has over 2000 metres of climbing and the race is bookended with hilltop finishes at the Glenshee Ski Centre in Aberdeenshire and The Needles on the Isle of Wight.
Ahead of that first summit finish, we hear from 19-year-old Scotsman Oscar Onley, a stage winner of the Giro Valle d’Aosta earlier this year, who is being given a GC shot by Team DSM at this year’s race.
Saint Piran’s team manager Steve Lampier talks us through his team, including their head-turning new signings, and fires a riposte to social media commentators who have questioned the team’s transfer policy this year.
WiV SunGod’s Jake Scott won two jerseys in last year’s Tour of Britain and was a feature of almost every break. He tells whether jersey-bagging will be another aim of his this year.
And his team manager, Tim Elverson, looks back on a successful year for the team and tells us what success would look like for the team at the race.
And, stop the press, we also have a late entry from Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling DS Colin Sturgess, who we’re delighted to say will be sending us dispatches throughout the race again this year.
Each of our guests also looks forward to the stage 1 ski centre summit finish. The consensus seems to be that the climb is hard enough to break the peloton up, but not so hard that it will be decisive for GC. They all agree too that the weather could up the ante and make the finish much harder than it looks on paper.
We want a say a big thanks to HUNT bike wheels who are supporting this Tour of Britain podcast diary series. HUNT have been long-time supporters of The British Continental website – and the domestic scene more generally – so we’re chuffed that they are also backing the podcast this week. Their man Ollie Gray is embedded in the race this week, so he'll be helping to bring us interviews with riders and staff as the week progresses.Support the show