Canon has announced that it will be the official imaging partner of The Tour of Britain for the fifth consecutive year.

Canon is now the longest running commercial sponsor of the cycling race, having supported The Tour of Britain every year since its resurrection in 2004.

The company will be supplying a range of high-end print and imaging equipment that will ensure all race results and digital images of the high-speed race are captured, distributed and viewed by the race organisers and the general public in the shortest possible time.

This year’s Tour of Britain is the longest to date, taking place over eight stages and increasing by a whole day compared to the 2007 race. Beginning with the opening stage in the centre of London on 7th September, The Tour then progresses via the South East, Somerset, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, before finishing in Liverpool on Sunday 14th September.

For the second year running Michelle Rudd will be the official Tour of Britain photographer, taking photos of the riders and event for syndication to the press. You'll also be able to see all her photography in the Canon Gallery on the Tour of Britain website.

Michelle actually became involved in the race after winning a Canon sponsored photography competition in 2006, and went on to become a member of the Tour of Britain staff in 2007.

That competition is back for its third successive year, and is giving spectators of the race the chance to follow in the footsteps of Michelle and the opportunity to win Canon digital imaging equipment, by taking the winning image of the 2008 race.

For more details on this, or the race and its route, log on to the Tour of Britain website