Tour of Britain 2013: Stage 3 Preview, Course Guide and Prediction

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 17, 2013

The Tour of Britain comes to Knowsley on Tuesday for a 16-kilometre individual time trial that skirts the city of Liverpool before finishing in Knowsley Safari Park.

Starting at around noon BST (7 a.m. ET), the riders will set off in reverse order at one-minute intervals and set an individual time for the route, rather than riding in a peloton as they will for the tour's other stages.

The final 10 riders will set off two minutes apart, and it may well be that performance in the time trial, when not supported throughout by teammates, will help decide the overall destination of the tour title next weekend.

It is just the fourth time in the modern tour's 10-year existence that the race has included an individual time trial and the first time it has been held at Knowsley, where Stage 2 was hosted last year.

Held over the traditional British time-trial distance of 10km, the route is the longest time trial since the tour was revived, per

The race will be shown live on ITV4, while those interested in attending can find information via the official tour website.


Course Guide and Prediction

A relatively flat route, the stage should be perfectly suited to home favourite Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, as well as Giro d'Italia time-trial winner and fellow Briton Alex Dowsett of the Movistar team, per the Guardian.

The first half of the course is mainly downhill, with long straight runs and sweeping corners that should see most riders heading out at a similar pace.

It will be on the more technical sections of the the uphill back to the park that the best time-trialists will come to the fore, and both riders named should be able to post leading times on the day.

Dowsett has won the last three national time-trial championships and he will be determined to beat his former teammate, having taken the brave move of leaving Team Sky last winter.

Wiggins, though, is the Olympic champion in the format and has long been recognised as one of the best time-trial riders around, with victories in ITTs on both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia.

The two riders will go head-to-head once more at the World Time Trial Championships at the end of the month, and both will be looking to take momentum into that event off the back of a strong showing here.

They are virtually inseparable in terms of which rider will top the timesheet, but will both almost certainly occupy the leading two positions upon the stage's completion.