Cornwall's 2021 Tour of Britain route
The opening stage of the Tour of Britain has been postponed until 2021, and it will take place in Cornwall.
Starting on Penzance promenade, it will wind its way by the wild west Penwith coastline into St Ives and then through Cornwall’s industrial heartland to Falmouth. Crossing the Duchy again it will arrive in Newquay before a trip to the iconic Eden Project and to the finish in Bodmin.
This is all taking place on Sunday 5th September 2021 when some of the world's finest cyclists will take on the undulating 183km route.
Our Guide to the Route
Penzance Promenade: Cornwall’s only promenade will provide a stunning location to start the 2020 Tour of Britain. With a backdrop of Mount’s Bay, riders will start at the western end of the prom and head east before doubling back up Market Jew Street and through Alverton to cross the A30 and follow the A3071 heading out into West Penwith.
Accommodation in Penzance
St Just: This former mining town in the far west will see the cyclists wind their way through rows of granite cottages, passing through the town square, before dropping steeply down into the Tregaseal valley before climbing up to the village of Botallack, famous for its cliff edge mining remains (as featured in Poldark).
Accommodation in St Just
The B3306 coast road:From Botallack to St Ives the route will follow perhaps the most dramatic section of the whole tour. With wild rugged moorland on one side of the road and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this undulating road offers fantastic viewing points for those with a sense of adventure. Parking places are at a premium, so forward planning is recommended. This section will feature two ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs, at Zennor and then Rosewall Hill just before St Ives.
St Ives: Plunging into St Ives down the Stennack valley, the route will take a tight right in the centre of town before climbing up Tregenna Hill and out past the bus station. It's going to be tight and fast going through the town, but will undoubtedly be popular!
Accommodation in St Ives
Hayle and the Towans: Leaving St Ives the riders will follow the main road through Carbis Bay and Lelant, skirting the RSPB Hayle Estuary bird reserve (something to look at while you wait). Snaking through Hayle the route then heads out towards Gwithian Towans (Cornish word for sand dunes) before turning inland towards Cornwall’s industrial heartland.
Accommodation in Hayle
Camborne and Redruth: These two towns were the centre of Cornwall’s mining industry from the late 1700s to the 1990s. The route will bring the riders in through the village of Baripper and take the main road through Camborne town centre. Dropping down to Tuckingmill, the route will take them past many of the industrial remains, including the National Trust’s engine houses at East Pool. In Redruth, the riders take the B3300, Falmouth Road, past the newly opened Kresen Kernow centre, before climbing through open countryside, along narrow Cornish lanes, towards Falmouth. Like the stretch between St Just and St Ives, this last stretch between Redruth and Falmouth will need careful planning if you are spectating.
Accommodation in Redruth
Falmouth: Coming in through Mabe Burnthouse, the riders will speed down the A39 to the Hillhead Roundabout where they will take a right sweeping through Falmouth's western fringes. Hitting the coast at Swanpool beach, the route then climbs steeply up Swanpool Hill and drops back down to Gyllyngvase beach before racing along the seafront and out around Pendennis Point. Heading out of town, (but avoiding the town centre) the riders will follow the river through Penryn and onwards towards Truro. Falmouth looks like it will offer several points where spectators will get two chances to see the riders without moving far.
Accommodation in Falmouth
Penryn to Truro: After climbing out of Penryn the route will follow the main A39 to Truro, with a small diversion past Perranwell Station and through Carnon Downs where the third ŠKODA King of the Mountains point of the day will be, climbing to the top of Old Carnon Hill. This stretch offers long steady climbs and descents and should be good for seeing the riders at full speed.
Truro: Flying down Lemon Street into the heart of Cornwall's picturesque city, the riders will zig-zag through Lemon Quay and onto Morlaix Avenue for a short distance before turning left along St Clement Street and up Pydar Street under the railway viaduct. They will leave via the B3284, heading through Shortlanesend to join the main Newquay road at the Rejerrah dip, a real test for the king of the mountain!
Accommodation in Truro
Newquay: Entering the resort from the A3075 the riders turn left along the Gannel Estuary. A short sharp climb up Tregunnel Hill before turning right along Mountwise will send the riders out along the seafront, with its hotels and stunning views. Plenty of space for spectators and plenty to do before and after they pass through. Leaving Newquay along the A3058, the route heads back inland through Quintrell Downs and towards Cornwall’s Clay Country.
Accommodation in Newquay
Towards St Austell: The route uses the A3058 to recross Cornwall to St Austell. Passing on the way through Summercourt, St Stephens and Trewoon. There should be plenty of places to view the riders as they shoot through on what should be fast sections.
St Austell and the Eden Project: Coming down off the hills, the route turns sharp left down Truro Road towards the centre of St Austell. Avoiding the pedestrianised centre of the town, that owes its prosperity to the extraction of China Clay in the surrounding countryside, the route twists up East Hill before crossing the railway line and heading down through the houses to the east of the town. The riders will then climb through the lanes to the Eden Project, where we expect them to do a circuit through the site, before heading north towards the A391 at Bugle, another of the clay villages.
Accommodation in St Austell
Bodmin: For the last leg of the day, the riders join the A389 through the village of Lanivet and onto Bodmin. Tired legs will climb up the hill into the town, known as Cornwall’s cycle hub. After passing north of the town centre, and with St Petroc's Church on their left, the riders will start the final sprint up St Nicholas Street to the finish line between the Bodmin General Station and the Regimental Museum. Spectators will be able to use the Camel Trail to access the town, or the Cornwall Way cycle route from the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House.
Accommodation in Bodmin
The 2021 Tour of Britain is due to take place between Sunday 5 and Sunday 13 September 2021, finishing in the city of Aberdeen, with Devon, Warrington and Cumbria among the other confirmed host venues.
Full details of the 2021 Tour of Britain race route will be announced later in the year while detailed timings and locations of the intermediate Sprints for the Cornwall stage will be announced in the spring of 2021.
The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.
For more information and maps of the town sections, please go to the Official Webpage
Fans of cycling should start thinking about accommodation now as it’s going to be very busy!