Warwick set to play host to van der Poel
The world’s hottest cycling talent, Mathieu van der Poel, is set to hit the district as part of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
Starting out from Warwick, Warwickshire will form Stage 7 of Britain’s most prestigious road race, with the 24-year-old Dutchman leading his Corendon-Circus team for the event in September.
Van der Poel has been one of the standout names of the 2019 cycling season so far, taking five victories on the road, including the prestigious Amstel Gold Race in April, as well as becoming World, European and Dutch cyclo-cross champion.
It will be the debut of both van der Poel and his Belgian Corendon Circus UCI ProContinental team in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
Victory in the Amstel Gold Race came during a thrilling Spring Classics campaign that also saw van der Poel win the Dwars van Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl single day World Tour races, and finish fourth in the legendary Tour of Flanders.
He recently continued his breakout season by taking his first ever UCI mountain bike World Cup victory in mid-May.
OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director, Mick Bennett, said: “We are excited that Mathieu, his team and the Dutch federation have identified the OVO Energy Tour of Britain as a key part of his road calendar in 2019 and look forward to welcoming him to the race.
“Like many I was thrilled to see his performance in the Amstel Gold Race this Spring, and am delighted that British fans will now get to see this amazing talent in action first hand. The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is held in tremendous regard by the sport’s top teams and riders and we look forward to more exciting announcements before September.”
Van der Poel is the son of double Tour de France stage winner and 1996 World Cyclo-Cross Champion Adri, while his Grandfather is eight-time Tour de France podium finisher and cycling great Raymond Poulidor.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain begins in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday, September 7, finishing eight days later on Deansgate in the heart of Manchester city centre on Saturday, September 17.
Warwickshire’s stage will go ahead on Friday, September 13 starting at Warwick, then the world’s top riders will pass through the University of Warwick, Kenilworth, Meriden (home to the National Cyclists’ Memorial), Atherstone, Bedworth and Wellesbourne.
Riders will climb Sun Rising Hill near Edge Hill before beginning the first of two full loops of a clockwise 12km finishing circuit around Burton Dassett and Farnborough, giving fans three chances to see the action on the 1.7k, 4.9 per cent average climb.
Stage 7, which replicates much of Stage 4 of June’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour, will feature three Eisberg Sprints at Berkswell, Brinlow and Pillerton Priors, and five SKODA King of the Mountains climbs.
ITV4 will once again 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.
For more information visit www.tourofbritain.co.uk