Hawick Tour prelude looks to attract the critters

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A SPECIAL cycle race with a £1,000 top prize is being organised to celebrate the Tour of Britain’s return to the Borders.

The region will play host to the third stage of this year’s tournament with the cyclists passing through Jedburgh and Hawick on Tuesday, September 11.

Organised by Hawick-based Borders Cycles, and a number of local volunteers, the Hawick Kirk Crit will take place on Sunday, September 9.

The event features a series of races for all abilities, ranging from a main feature race to women’s, junior, youths’ and even a kids/bmx race.

The feature race (for Elite and first, second and third category cyclists) has an impressive top prize of £1,000 with £500 for second and £250 for third place. The cash prizes have been provided by Scottish Borders Council.

Julian Cram, owner of Border Cycles, said: “We wanted to capitalise on the Tour of Britain’s potential to showcase the Borders as a brilliant cycling destination and a race a couple of days before the Tour Stage reaches Hawick seemed the ideal way to do this.

“I am hoping that cyclists from across the region and further afield will register to take part and will not only enjoy a fabulous day’s racing, but may choose to stay on for a few more days to see the actual Tour riders in action.”

The Hawick Kirk Crit is based around a short but technical course which forms a circuit around St Mary’s Kirk in Hawick.

The feature event will take the form of a one-hour race, plus five additional laps of the circuit.

A valid cycling licence to the appropriate category is required to participate in the feature race.

Neen Kelly, recreational cycling officer for the Borders, commented: “The Hawick Kirk Crit is an innovative addition to the Borders cycling events calendar and has great potential to help to promote the region as Scotland’s leading road cycling destination.”

Other prizes for the races include cycle helmets from Aplina and ABD bike accessories.

Full details of all races plus entry information can be found the website www.borderscycles.com/critoverview.aspx