THE Tour of Britain will return to Scotland this September, as the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway host Stage Three of Britain's biggest professional cycle race. Attracting some of the biggest names in world cycling, the Tour will offer fans the chance experience the thrilling road race, just a five weeks after the London Olympics.
Tuesday 11th September will see almost 100 of the world's top cyclists racing the 161.4 kilometres from Jedburgh to Dumfries, taking in Hawick, St Mary's Loch and Moffat on the way. The route is both spectacular and challenging, providing riders and spectators with the ideal setting for the action.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "Featuring some of the world's top road cyclists, the Tour of Britain is one of the highlights on Scotland's sporting calendar and the excitement and passion for the event will be as strong as ever in this Olympic year. Scotland is the perfect stage for major cycling events and the stunning route through the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway will undoubtedly provide the ideal backdrop to the action.
"EventScotland continues to support The Tour of Britain as part of our ongoing commitment to cycling, and I am delighted that Scottish Cycling is once again delivering a programme of activity around the event that will contribute to the continued development of the sport."
Following the successful hosting of stage starts in Peebles in 2009 and 2011, The Tour of Britain moves to Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders this year. Heading through Moffat riders will cross into Dumfries & Galloway, before racing into Dumfries where they will tackle three laps of a testing finishing circuit, giving fans additional opportunities to see the race in full flight before the exciting finale on Whitesands.
Richard Sweetnam, Economic Development Manager at Scottish Borders Council said: "The Council is committed to supporting cycling in the Borders and maximising the tourism and leisure opportunities it brings. Working with EventScotland, the Borders has hosted The Tour of Britain for a number of years and it's very exciting that it is returning in 2012.
"This year's route around Jedburgh and Hawick, showcased by cyclescottishborders.com, is spectacular. We will be working with local businesses and VisitScotland to deliver another successful stage, promoting both the hugely popular local cycling events earlier in the summer and Scotland's leading cycling destination itself."
Ewan Green, Head of Economic Development for Dumfries and Galloway Council added: "Cycling fans across the region will warmly welcome the news that The Tour of Britain is to return to Dumfries and Galloway. Once again this year, I expect thousands of spectators will turn out to support the riders as they take in Moffat, Lochmaben, Dumfries and the scenic Solway coast. The 2012 stage is sure to be memorable and I am very much looking forward to it."
A mass participation cycle ride - The Tour Ride Scotland - will accompany The Tour of Britain in 2012, with cyclists getting the chance to experience the thrill of the route first hand. Amateur riders and families will be given the opportunity to preview part of the Scottish stage on Sunday 26th August, with full details to be announced via www.tourride.co.uk.
The Tour of Britain begins in Ipswich on Sunday 9th September, visiting Norfolk, the East Midlands and Merseyside before arriving in Scotland for Stage Three.
Following the Dumfries finish, racing continues with Stage Four on Wednesday 12th September from Carlisle to Blackpool, giving cycling fans in Scotland another opportunity to see riders from around the world racing in Britain.
Further stages take the race to Stoke-on-Trent, Wales and Devon before the final leg in Surrey on Sunday 16th September, where the winner of the IG Markets Gold Jersey will be crowned.
More details of the Scottish stage of The Tour of Britain will be unveiled on Monday 28th May in Dumfries at the Scottish launch.
The 2012 Tour of Britain will take place between Sunday 9th and Sunday 16th September 2012.
The route is as follows: Stage One Sunday 9th September Ipswich to Norfolk Showground Stage Two Monday 10th September Nottingham to Knowsley Stage Three Tuesday11th September Jedburgh to Dumfries Stage Four Wednesday 12th September Carlisle to Blackpool Stage Five Thursday 13th September The Stoke-on-Trent Stage Stage Six Friday 14th September Welshpool to Caerphilly Stage Seven Saturday 15th September Barnstaple to Dartmouth Stage Eight Sunday 16th September Reigate to Guildford