Scottish Borders to host first stage of Tour of Britain

PEEBLES will once again play host to the first stage of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, the Tour of Britain.

The grand depart will take place in the Borders town on Sunday, September 15, with around 100 leading cyclists from the UK and around the world racing to Drumlanrig Castle.

The day before, more than 100 amateur cyclists will get the chance to ride the route, which takes in Innerleithen, Selkirk, Hawick and Newcastleton as part of the Tour Ride.

Peebles previously held the start of a Tour of Britain stage in 2009 and also hosted the prestigious opening stage in 2011.

Last year the start of stage three was held in Jedburgh.

Paul Bush, chief operating officer for EventScotland, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Tour of Britain truly showcases our stunning landscapes, which is even more fitting in 2013, the year of natural Scotland.

“From the mass participation Tour Ride to the opening stage from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle, the grand depart weekend in Scotland will be a great celebration of all things cycling.”

“Peebles embraced the Tour of Britain on our last visit there for the grand depart in 2011 so we are delighted to be returning, and know that Scotland will be the perfect stage for our tenth grand depart,” said Hugh Roberts, chief executive of SweetSpot Group, the organisers and promoters of the Tour of Britain.

He added: “Stage one will be a tough but scenic opening to this year’s Tour and we hope that cycling fans from all over Britain will join us to make the grand depart truly memorable.”

For more local reaction see this week’s Southern Reporter.