British cycling fans will have a choice of viewing for the first time at this year’s Tour of Britain after the organisers announced that both ITV4 and British Eurosport will screen live coverage and daily highlights.
Action from the UK’s biggest professional cycle race will be shown on both channels for the first time this September, building upon ITV4’s successful live coverage of the 2012 Tour of Britain, the first time the race had been broadcast live.
The race covers just over 1,000 kilometres over eight days and starts on Sunday, September 15, with the stage from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle, culminating in the iconic finish on Whitehall in the heart of London on Sunday 22nd September.
British rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke won last year’s Tour of Britain for Endura Racing, a win that helped him clinch a move to Team Sky.
Following another successful Tour de France for British riders, the UK’s more compact version, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in its current guides, is expected to attract further media interest as well increased crowds along the roadside.
This year the race is part of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ plans to return from injury and illness that saw him withdraw prematurely from the Giro d’Italia and precluded his participation in the Tour de France.
In addition to live coverage from seven of the eight stages, ITV4 will continue to broadcast the highly popular daily highlights programmes of the Tour of Britain each evening, as the channel has done since 2008.
ITV4 will not be screening the opening stage as the channel is committed to screening British Touring Cars on September 15 at Rockingham.
British Eurosport will cover all eight stages live and also show highlights each evening of the day’s action.
Niall Sloane, ITV’s Director of Sport, said: “Following our extremely popular coverage of this year’s Tour de France, we’re delighted to bring ITV4 viewers live coverage and highlights of this country’s major cycling event with all the key action from The Tour of Britain.”
British Eurosport managing Director David Kerr said, “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to show every stage of The Tour of Britain live.
“The event continues to grow in stature every year and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ stated intention to ride in the race this year will only add to that.
“The Tour of Britain is one of over 30 cycling events we will show live this year, including all three Grand Tours and confirms our position as the Home of Cycling.”
Hugh Roberts, chief executive of race organisers SweetSpot Group, said: “We are delighted to once again be able to confirm live television coverage for The Tour of Britain.”
“The increased coverage in 2013 will ensure that spectators now have a choice of ways to watch The Tour, showcasing our venues, stakeholders and partners to a greater audience than ever before.”
Further details of broadcast times for the live coverage and daily highlights will be confirmed in due course along with announcements regarding the participation of teams and star riders.
The TV deal follows on from news that SweetSpot Group had retained the rights to organise and promote the Tour of Britain from 2014 onwards.
In 2012, the race was shown in 124 countries worldwide to over 288 million homes.
In addition to the Tour of Britain, ITV4 will also screen highlights of the forthcoming La Vuelta a Espana, the final UCI Grand Tour of the season, starting on August 24.
As well as La Vuelta and raft of other world class cycling, British Eurosport will also show the inaugural Ride London Classic event on Sunday, August 4, a UCI European Tour race on the streets of London and Surrey, including the famous climb of Box Hill and finishing on The Mall.