The Tour of Britain is sponsored by a host of regional development agencies, Transport for London, T-Mobile, E-ON (which also sponsors the FA Cup) and Madison.
Daily highlights coverage on Cycling.tv starts on Tuesday although the channel is already airing highlights from last year.
The media viewer has also been inserted on the Tour of Britain website.
There will be highlights of the start and finish of every stage and rolling race results. Interviews with the daily stage winner and race leader will be available on Tour of Britain TV shortly after each stage.
Tour of Britain TV will complement the BBC coverage of the event which culminates in a two and a half hour programme with live coverage of the final stage of the race in London on Sunday 3rd August and highlights from the first five stages.
Hugh Roberts, CEO of SweetSpot – the company behind the Tour of Britain – believes a dedicated broadband channel opens up the Tour to a whole new audience.
"I am hugely excited by the launch of Tour of Britain TV. We are giving cycling fans the opportunity to follow every stage of the race wherever they are in the world. The immediacy of the results, interviews and reaction to the day is unique and I’m confident it will add another dimension to what is already a fantastic event. The partnership with Cycling.tv means more people can see more of the race."
Mick Bennett, the race’s technical director, will give provide a daily insider’s view of the race.
The race kicks off in Glasgow on Tuesday and there are various public events linked to race, such as a special ‘illuminations preview’ for bike riders in Blackpool. The last two days of the Tour will be used as dry runs by the police and other parties for next year’s opening stages of the Tour de France.
The Tour of Britain is in Kent next Saturday and then the race closes down the capital on Sunday.
From 9 am on 3rd September a packed schedule of events will entertain the crowds in St James’s Park, including the Sport England Junior Trophy race, TfL Grand Prix for Juniors, Women and elite amateurs and a Hand Cyclist World Cup circuit race, featuring 60 international para-Olympians. The Tour of Britain riders will then arrive in the park at approximately 3.30pm.
In The Mall, along the finishing straight of these major events, London’s biggest bike party ‘Bike Fest 06’ will provide entertainment and an excellent opportunity for both cyclists and non-cyclists to find out more about cycling in London.
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said:
"The final stage of the Tour of Britain in London will be a spectacular sporting event and a fun day out for thousands of people. The Tour of Britain, like next year’s Tour de France, is superb opportunity to encourage more people to join the growing numbers of cyclists in London."
Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said:
"This year’s Tour of Britain promises to be a fantastic race. There will also be a range of other races and BikeFest 06 all of which will provide a great day out for cyclists and non-cyclists alike.
"Like last year huge numbers of Londoners are expected to come along to cheer the riders on. The day will give people a feel for what to expect when the Tour de France comes to the capital next year. These events will inspire even more Londoners to get on their bikes."
Throughout the day, Bike Fest will provide a variety of activities and attractions for all ages including a road show on the Tour de France that comes to London in July 2007, demonstrations of extreme cycling and trials riding, displays by the 999 Cycle Response teams in a carnival atmosphere accompanied by face painters, magicians, mime artists and balloon modellers.
An all abilities test track will be set up for adults and a separate one for children for demonstrations of basic cycling skills and everyone who’s interested will get a chance to try out some of the latest bicycles featured at the Festival. Meanwhile if you need to know about fixing your bike, changing a tyre, or tightening up your brakes, experts will be on hand to explain bike maintenance techniques. TfL’s Cycling Centre of Excellence will also be at the festival and a wide variety of bicycle products will be showcased ranging from bicycles to clothing to interactive racing games.
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