BRITAIN'S biggest cycling race will wheel through the Borders this weekend.

Among the big names who will be in the peloton for Sunday's opening stage of the Tour of Britain are Team Sky duo Geraint Thomas and Michal Kwiatkowski, recently crowned European Champion Alexander Kristoff from Norway, World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin and multiple British Champion Alex Dowsett.

Tour of Britain race director Mick Bennett told us: "From the world famous city centre of Edinburgh, via the coast and moors of East Lothian to the beautiful views and towns of the Scottish Borders, Stage One has a bit of everything.

"With our partners we have planned a very spectator friendly route and look forward to cycling fans from across Scotland and the North of England turning out to cheer on and support the amazing field of riders we will have.”

The 188 kilometre opening stage of the Tour of Britain departs from Edinburgh's Royal Mile at 10.30am.

The East Lothian towns and villages of Musselburgh, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Longniddry, Haddington and Pencaitland all lie on the opening kilometres of the route, while Gifford hosts the first intermediate Eisberg Sprint of the 2017 race at around 11.50am.

Shortly after riders tackle the first SKODA King of the Mountains climb of the race at Redstone Rigg in the Lammermuir Hills, with the race expected to reach the summit at around midday.

Fans in the Borders are spoilt for choice on where to watch, with the Tour racing through Duns (approximately 12.30) and Coldstream, where there will be another Eisberg Sprint (approximately 1pm) before passing through the centre of Kelso twice, at around 1.30pm and again for the finish at approximately 3.20pm.

As well as a big screen showing the whole race live, Kelso will host the official promo zone with stands from Tour partners and a static bike challenge.

With the race taking in a 79-kilometre loop of the Scottish Borders, there is also the chance for fans to watch at one of the SKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the beautiful locations of Scott's View (approximately 2.30pm) or above Melrose at Bowden Loch (approximately 2.45pm).

There is also the final Eisberg Sprint in Melrose High Street.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's director of events, said: "Spectators are in for an amazing opening stage to this year's OVO Energy Tour of Britain as they are treated to world-class racing set against the backdrop of some of Scotland's most iconic and spectacular locations and countryside.

"EventScotland is proud to be a long-term partner of the Tour of Britain and help bring the race back to Scotland each year to showcase what's on offer to an international audience of cycling enthusiast."

A total of 20 of the world's top professional cycling teams will be taking part.

And every mile of the opening stage will be televised live on ITV 4.

Following Sunday's opening stage the Tour of Britain heads for Kielder on Monday with stage two covering 211 kilometres to Blyth.