MILLIONS of cycling fans tuned into watch some of the world's best riders race through the Borders on Sunday.

Many thousand also lined the scenic 190-kilometre route between Edinburgh and Kelso's Market Square.

The capital's Royal Mile provided a dramatic setting for the Grand Depart of this year's OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

And after some fast sections through East Lothian the peloton crossed over the rugged moorlands to reach Berwickshire.

Large crowds lined both Duns and Coldstream to watch the race unfold.

And many more were in Kelso to watch the beginning and conclusion of the 79 kilometre loop of the central Borders.

King of the Mountains points were picked up at Scott's View and Bowden Moor as well as further sprint points on Melrose High Street, with hundreds of supporters gathering at each of the finishing lines.

But the biggest cheers of the day were saved for the final few hundred metres through Kelso.

Although most were hoping for a glimpse of Mark Cavendish sprinting over Rennie Bridge and through the historic streets, it turned out to be the Australian who won the conclusion to last year's Tour who commanded the cobbles.

Caleb Ewan outsprinted Edvald Boasson Hagen, Elia Viviani and Alexander Kristoff in a thrilling four-way finish over the last hundred metres to take the stage win.

Thousands of spectators had gathered in Kelso, who not only enjoyed the race pass twice but also the promotional village and live coverage on two big screens.

Among them was Stuart Turner, head of EventScotland. He said: “Once again the Scottish Borders has provided the perfect stage for a finish to the Tour of Britain.

“The atmosphere in and round Kelso was some of the best I’ve seen in the Tour’s history in Scotland and I was delighted to see so many people out lining the route and supporting the riders as they rode through the beautiful Borders towns and countryside.”

In addition to a window dressing competition, which was won by G&S Hair Salon in Roxburgh Street, and a static bike challenge in the town centre, Visit Kelso also arranged a bike decorating competition, which was won by Brodie Douglas, Gregor Forbes and Rebecca Eason, to mark the arrival of the Tour.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “Hosting events of national and international significance such as the Tour of Britain is a key part of the council’s events and cycle tourism strategies and it was fantastic to see so many people in Kelso and along the route on Sunday.

"The town put on a great reception for the race, with some fantastic window displays and many businesses opened especially to cater for the many spectators.

"The support of Visit Kelso in this respect is greatly appreciated and shows the benefits of having such an enthusiastic local business group."