DEFENDING champion Dylan Van Baarle and sprint star Andre Greipel are two of the leading names confirmed for this year’s Tour of Britain, which has a stage in East Lancashire.

Garmin’s van Baarle, a surprise winner in 2014, is back again to try and retain his title while Lotto Soudal’s Greipel, who starred at the Tour de France earlier this summer where he won four stages, takes part in the race for the first time since 2010.


With Bradley Wiggins and Edvald Boasson Hagen also confirmed to ride and a host of squads not yet confirming their line-up, the race is set to attract some of the sport’s best known riders.

And East Lancashire fans can watch the riders on stage two on Monday, September 7, when the tour runs from Clitheroe to Colne.

And Dutchman Van Baarle is determined to give a strong account of himself having beaten Michal Kwitakowski and Bradley Wiggins to the title last year.

“I’m really looking forward to race again in the Tour of Britain,” said Van Baarle.

“It’s a special honour to ride with number one. We have a strong team and we will definitely look to defend my title.”

The remainder of the Garmin squad has yet to be revealed.

German sprint star Greipel is a 10-time Tour de France stage winner and has also claimed success in both the other Grand Tours, with four wins in the Vuelta a Espana and three stage wins in the Giro d’Italia.

He will be joined by in his Lotto Soudal squad by Marcel Sieberg, Sean De Bie, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison and Pim Ligthart.

Greipel looks set to renew his rivalry with British sprint star Mark Cavendish who is expected to ride the race for Etixx-QuickStep.

The Manxman, who took one stage at this year’s Tour de France, has not yet been confirmed for the Tour of Britain but has ridden the race every year since 2011.