Tour of Britain 2022 teams | What teams are competing?
The Tour of Britain is ranked 2.Pro on the UCI calendar. The ‘2’ relates to it being a stage race, while the ‘Pro’ means it’s one level below the top-level WorldTour.
There are 18 teams in the men’s WorldTour and, while teams aren’t obliged to ride races at the Tour of Britain’s level, up to 70 per cent of such a race’s start list can consist of WorldTour teams.
Whether a WorldTour team enters depends on several factors, including how relevant the race is to its sponsors and competing events.
This year sees five WorldTour teams, including Ineos Grenadiers and Movistar, taking on the undulating 2022 Tour of Britain route.
The remaining 30 per cent or so is made up of ProTeams, Continental and, sometimes, a GB national team. There are a host of ProTeams such as Bardiani-CSF-Faizone and UNO-X and Continental Teams including WiV SunGod and Ribble Weldtite.
The Tour of Britain gets underway on Sunday 4 September in Aberdeen, Scotland and the dynamic route on offer this year should provide a thrilling spectacle.
From stage one's summit finish at Glenshee Ski Centre with a challenging three kilometre climb, to the climb at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which is designed to provide a dramatic general classification showdown, there isn't much room for rest for the entire peloton.
The 18th edition of the modern Tour of Britain kicks off with its northernmost start on Sunday, with 108 riders setting off from Aberdeen ahead of eight stages that will culminate in a first-ever visit to the Isle of Wight.
There's no time trial at this year's race but an opening day summit finish, as well as several hilly stages including the final day, look set to determine the destination of the new-look leader's jersey.
Chief among the contenders for that red jersey will be Ineos Grenadiers, the home team who boast what is on paper easily the strongest squad at this year's race. The Tour of Britain marks the final race of Richie Porte's career. The 37-year-old, who has Paris-Nice, the Tour de Suisse, and the Critérium du Dauphiné among his career palmarès, is part of a powerful lineup this week.
Tom Pidcock will lead the British team. The 23-year-old, who won on L'Alpe d'Huez at the Tour de France, is among the major favourites for the overall win at the race. As well as Porte, he'll be able to rely on Amstel Gold Race winner Michał Kwiatkowski and Brabantse Pijl winner Magnus Sheffield in his bid for glory.
This year’s Tour of Britain breaks a few rules. It has an uphill finish, arguably the Queen Stage, on day one, with the drag up to the Glenshee Ski Centre, finishing with a steep-enough 3km climb.
That might kill the race stone dead on day one, or provoke the need to attack thereafter; it could go either way. And it finishes with another short sharp effort to the Needles on the Isle of Wight.
Along the way between the two points (and making a refreshing foray into Yorkshire), the race serves up its usual mix of nailed-on sprints, and finishes for puncheurs. The start-list has been stronger in recent years. The upcoming Road World Championships in Australia might have forced a bit of a re-think for some. But those teams and riders who will be pinning a number on and starting the race will see a massive opportunity to pick up a victory on what has grown over recent years to become a race only the very best in the world win.
One name towers above the rest, in terms of how eagerly we anticipate his ride. For Tom Pidcock, this coming week could be another significant milestone in a career which is plotting so many courses, it's hard to keep track of where it’s heading. Is it X-Cross, MTB, the Classics, stage wins or GC? Has he ruled out BMX?
The course suits him, the team around him looks strong. He must surely go into the race as favourite, and yet, at senior level he is fully unproven in terms of his GC potential. U-23 victories at Tour Alsace and the Baby Giro suggest that Pidcock can willingly apply himself to the sometimes sterile seeming disciplines of riding GC.
But to win the Tour of Britain, following on from Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert would seem like the next logical step.The prolific Belgian is very suited to the Tour of Britain, its wild and wet conditions, its punchy climbs and unrelenting nature.
No longer in the red of Bahrain Victorious, Teuns has joined the Israel-Premier Tech team on a mid-season two and a half year contract. This is his race debut for his new team. His form is good, if not stellar. He was a little muted at the Tour de France, perhaps. But prior to that he had picked up a win at the Tour de Romandie on very 'Tour of Britain' terrain, and he won La Flèche Wallonne. All good indications that his form isn’t far off and his class is permanent.
There is a slight question about the strength and relative lack of experience in his team, but he will be motivated to get off to the best possible start with his new team, and to prove to the Belgian national selectors that they have made a mistake in overlooking him for the upcoming World Championships.
The Tour of Britain is among the few week-long stage races that a rider like Teuns can seriously target on GC. But he’s done it before, in Wallonie, Poland and Norway.