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Tour of Britain 2018 odds

Who wins Tour of Britain 2018?

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Tour of Britain 2018

The Tour of Britain 2018 is the 79th edition of the race, held between the 2nd September and the 9th September. The professional Europe Tour race covers 1,140 km, taking the peloton from Pembrey Country Park on the Carmarthenshire coast in South Wales to the streets of Central London, via Devon, Bristol, Warwickshire, Cumbria and Nottinghamshire across eight stages of racing. This year, the route does not include Scotland.

The current title holder is Lars Boom (LottoNL-Jumbo), who also won in 2011. He held off Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) and Stefan Kung (Team XX) to take the title in 2017. Boasson Hagen attacked solo on the final stage but finished just eight seconds behind Boom.

Boom, however, has just finished a month-long suspension after he was suspended by the UCI over a punching incident at the Tour of Norway in May.

The race profile:

Stage 1: Pembrey – Newport. 175 km, flat.

Stage 2: Cranbrook – Barnstaple. 174 km, flat.

Stage 3: Bristol – Bristol. 125 km, hills.

Stage 4: Nuneaton – Leamington Spa. 183 km, flat.

Stage 5: Cockermouth – Whinlatter Pass. 14 km, TTT.

Stage 6: Barrow-in-Furness – Whinlatter Pass. 169 km, hills.

Stage 7: West Bridgford – Mansfield. 223 km, flat.

Stage 8: London Criterium. 77 km, flat.

The 2018 race includes a tough team time trial and a summit finish on the Whinlatter Pass. The race begins in South Wales and finishes with the traditional London criterium.

Stage one of the Tour of Britain takes the cyclists from Pembrey on a lumpy course to Newport. The first stage includes three classified climbs, including the punchy Belmont Hill with its crest less than 10 km out.

Stage 2 is from Cranbrook to Barnstaple on undulating terrain, while stage 3 begins and finishes in Bristol.

Stage 4 takes the peloton between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa, before the challenging 14 km team time trial on stage 5.

The Whinlatter Pass is back on stage 6, twice, following the start in Barrow-in-Furness. Stage 6 in also includes the intermediate climbs of Hawkshead Hill, Dunmail Raise and Fangs Brow.

Stage 7 ends in Mansfield after a hefty 223 km of racing – the longest day on the saddle. It is a fairly flat route but does contain some rolling hills that could make the sprint finish anything but a certainty. Expect a bunch sprint, however.

Stage 8 wraps up the tour with the traditional 14-lap circuit around the iconic centre of London.

Recent winners and contenders

Alongside multiple winner Lars Boom, previous winners of the Tour of Britain include British rider Steve Cummings (Team Dimension Data) in 2016 and Edvald Boasson Hagen in 2015 and 2009.

The Tour of Britain is also seen as a great opportunity for cyclists to prepare for the upcoming cycling World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria, which begins just three weeks after the Tour of Britain ends.

As the UK's biggest professional bike, British riders are always looking to follow in the footsteps of previous home-grown winners Cummings and Bradley Wiggins. Those hoping for strong performances this year include Owain Doull (Team Sky), Cummings, Ben Swift (UAE-Team Emirates) and multiple stage winner Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data). The British National team will also be hoping for a good showing.

Boasson Hagen is a hot favourite once more but will be challenged by Caleb Ewan (Team Mitchelton–Scott). If they decide to join the peloton, Elia Viviani (Team Quick-Step Floors), Rohan Dennis (Team BMC Racing), Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).

Eleven World Tour teams include the home team of Team Sky and Quick-Step Floors, one of the most successful team of 2018 so far. The race contains a selection of local Continental teams with JLT-Condor, Madison-Genesis, One Pro Cycling and Canyon-Eisberg all included on the start list.

Canyon-Eisberg have the pedigree of being the reigning OVO Energy Tour Series champions, and their squad includes Commonwealth Games medalists Charlie and Harry Tanfield. Madison Genesis, meanwhile, have British road race champ, 22-year-old Connor Swift, while One Pro Cycling return to the race for fourth year running, having won the SKODA King of the Mountains and Sprints jerseys thanks to Pete Williams in their debut 2015 season.

Here is the full team list:

Aqua Blue Sport (IRL)

BMC Racing (USA)

Direct Energie (FRA)

Great Britain (GBR)

Lotto-Soudal (BEL)

Movistar (ESP)

Mitchelton-Scott (AUS)

Quick-Step Floors (BEL)

Dimension Data (RSA)

Katusha-Alpecin (SUI)

EF-Drapac (USA)

LottoNL-Jumbo (NED)

Team Sky (GBR)

Team Sunweb (NED)

Wanty-Groupe Gobert (BEL)

Bardiani-CSF (ITA)

JLT-Condor (GBR)

One Pro Cycling (GBR)

Madison Genesis (GBR)

Canyon-Eisberg (GBR)

Race Director Mick Bennett says, "This year we have worked hard to create an innovative and unpredictable route, with several surprises in store throughout the race. Several stages have stings in the tail; climbs positioned towards the finale of Stages 1, 2 and 3 will keep the outcome up in the air until the very end.

"Our partners at Cumbria County Council have helped us to achieve something that we have been keen to do for a number of years on Stage Five – a team time trial that finishes atop Whinlatter Pass. This will be a test like no other, as teams will have to get their equipment choices and tactics spot on. The race may not be won here, but some riders could certainly lose it."