Mass cycling event gears up to be a summer sizzler

Riders faced some challenging conditions during the 2013 Tour
Riders faced some challenging conditions during the 2013 Tour

The Tour o’ the Borders sportive will sweep through the region again this summer – and cyclists will be allowed to enjoy the route traffic-free.

The mass-participation road cycling event will see up to 4,000 pedallers take to the region’s routes in August, in what will be one of the largest cycling events the area has seen. Tour o’ the Borders is one of only three closed-road sportives in Scotland.

Peebles town centre will host the start and finish of the Tour o’ the Borders when it rolls into the Tweed Valley on Sunday, August 10. Sponsored by Endura, the non-competitive event will pass through Innerleithen, Clovenfords, Selkirk and the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys. Participants have the choice of two routes – either 89km or a lung-busting 124km.

Last year’s Tour o’ the Borders, which took place in April, became an instant internet hit after participants fell foul of some pretty intense weather conditions – the cycling press even dubbed it “the most extreme sportive of all time”. And while it certainly made for a memorable event, organisers are keen to avoid a repeat performance, so a summer date made an attractive choice.

And organiser Neil Dalgleish hopes there will be plenty of local support for the event.

“The Borders is fast becoming recognised as one of the UK’s premier cycling destinations, and events like this help cement that reputation,” he said.

As well as lots of local participants, organisers are expecting to welcome cyclists from Europe and beyond.

“We’ve already had entries from USA, Singapore and around Europe,” added Dalgleish.

“Sportives are a fantastic, friendly opportunity for cyclists to get together and enjoy a ride, and we’re really delighted this year’s riders get to enjoy some stunning scenery without having to worry about traffic – we hope it’ll encourage even more people to get on their bike.

“Obviously we realise road closures may cause some minor disruption, so between now and August we’ll be reaching out to the local community to answer any questions and ensure we keep any inconvenience to a minimum.

“We hope people see the bigger picture and realise the huge economic boost this will bring to the Borders. Details of the road closures will soon be available on our website.”

Entry for the 2014 Tour o’ the Borders is available now, with an early-bird discount available for those who are quick off the mark through www.tourotheborders.com.