Tour of Britain race director Mick Bennett has promised fans and riders the "most gruelling" race yet after unveiling the course for its 10th anniversary race in September.
Among the highlights are a first-ever stage through the heart of the Lake District, tackling the famous Honister Pass, and a time-trial over the traditional 10-mile (16-kilometre) distance set in Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool.
A peloton which organisers hope will include Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins along with fellow British stars Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish will then move on to the more familiar sights of climbs over Dartmoor, sprints up Guildford's cobbled High Street and a closing stage around central London.
But it is the first proper visit to the Lakes - the race has previously been to Kendal but not deep into the National Park - which will set this edition of the Tour apart from those that have gone before.
"I think this is the most gruelling Tour of Britain we've organised," Bennett told Press Association Sport. "Stage two through the Lakes is probably the toughest stage we've ever done. Honister Pass is rated very highly by the book of the worst climbs in the country." The mountain pass has gradients approaching 25% amid the spectacular scenery of the national park and will provide a stiff examination of the peloton on the second day of the race.
The Lakes will come after a lengthy, fairly flat opening stage through the Scottish Borders on day one, and before the Knowsley time-trial on day three, an intriguing early mix which should shake up the general classification battle.
Knowsley's Safari Park has featured on the Tour route before, but this year's visit will be extra special with a traditional-style time-trial returning to the schedule. "It's a classic-length British time-trial and that's good for the spectators who tend to come out to the North West as they will be able to compare their own 10-mile times," Bennett said.
"It's a real joy that the Earl of Derbyshire has opened up his estate for the time-trial to take place on totally-closed roads and we also have the local authorities to thank for that."
As well as finding plenty of challenges for the riders, Bennett has taken care to put together a route that passes through some of the country's most dramatic scenery. It starts on day one with a lap around Drumlanrig Castle, and, after the Lakes and Knowsley, continues with Snowdon as the backdrop for the finish of stage four. The riders will cross the Brecon Beacons on stage five and tackle the event's first summit finish on Dartmoor the day after.
Guildford's cobbled High Street provides the finish to the penultimate stage before a race around London's most famous sights and a finale down Whitehall to crown a winner in the shadow of Big Ben.