Keeping a look out for famous sporting faces

Sir Bradley Wiggins
Sir Bradley Wiggins

There will be a host of famous faces from the cycling world to look out for when the race comes to the county.

Cycling legend Sir Bradley Wiggins will be one of the ones to watch as the race weaves its way through Northumberland.

The 36-year-old, who won the event in 2013, will form part of Team Wiggins’ six-man roster for the race.

It will be the eighth time the reigning Olympic, world and British time-trial champion has competed in the race.

Sir Bradley, who was the first British winner of the Tour de France in 2012, is taking part in the tour in preparation for the European Track Championships.

Mark Cavendish, the man with the most modern Aviva Tour of Britain stage wins to his name will lead a strong Etixx Quick-Step team at the race next week, which will also include three-time World Cyclo-Cross Champion Zdeněk Štybar.

The former World and British Champion, who has ten stage wins in the race to his name will make his eighth appearance in his home tour.

The 26-time Tour de France stage winner, Mark Cavendish, said: “I’m excited to ride the Tour of Britain.

“It’s my home tour and it’s always something special to ride in front of your national crowd.

“It’s already my eighth time at the race and, year-by-year, I can see how cycling is growing in this nation.

“We are at the start to try to be successful as we were last year.

“We have a strong team and we are ready to race. This year, the course is extremely difficult. It will be also a good final preparation for the UCI World Championships in Richmond.”

Alongside Cavendish will be Štybar, who won Stage Six of the Tour de France to Le Havre, as well as the Italian one-day classic Strade Bianche earlier this year.

“This is the first time that I ride this race,” he said.

“I have never raced on the road in the United Kingdom, but I remember the great images of the Olympics and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France last year.

“It will be nice to be part of this race.”

Cavendish and Štybar join the likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Gerald Ciolek, Andre Greipel and 2014 overall Tour of Britain winner Dylan Van Baarle as already confirmed for the 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain.

Mick Bennett, race director of the Aviva Tour of Britain, added: “We are delighted to be bringing the Aviva Tour of Britain back to the North East and hosting both a start and finish in Northumberland for the first time.

“Stages Four and Five both travel through some fantastic scenery that we look forward to showcasing with the race and hope to see big crowds lining the roadside.”