Following the start in Cranbrook, a village near Exeter, the riders head east to tackle the first KOM of the day very early on. After 6 kilometres they reach the crest of Chineway Hill. The route then turns north for a short while, but eventually the peloton sets sail for the Bristol Channel. Longdrag Hill is crested with 56 kilometres done and the Tour of Britain continues just south of the rolling landscape of Exmoor National Park. After the intermediate sprint in Landkey the riders are almost home – yet, they are treated to a 73 kilometre long loop north of arrival place Barnstaple.
The loop is far from flat and features two KOM-categorised climbs. Bratton Flemming with 60 kilometres to go and then Challacombe Hill. The 1.3 kilometres climb is averaging 12.5%, while the middle section is toughest with gradients at over 15%. Lovely scenery though with the Bristol Channel in the backdrop. At the top of Challacombe Hill it is 22 kilometres to the finish. First the drop down, then a minor kick up, and the last 15 kilometres are as good as flat.
It’s been six years since the Tour of Britain last visited Barnstaple. Back then it was the departure place of a stage to the Dartmoor National Park. Breakaway boy Pablo Urtusan took the win in a sprint of four.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprints (at kilometre 16, at kilometre 50 and at kilometre 101) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Tour of Britain 2018 stage 2: Route map, height profiles, and more
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