Cycling’s 2023 Tour o’ the Borders hailed as best yet by organisers
Almost 2,200 riders signed up for the tenth closed-road edition of the tour, with just short of 2,000 taking part on the day, most doing the full 75-mile route, starting and finishing in Peebles, taking in Innerleithen, Traquair, Tweedsmuir, Cademuir and the Dumfries and Galloway town of Moffat, as well as St Mary’s Loch, but a few hundred opting for a 55-mile variant.
Event director Neil Dalgleish was delighted with how this year’s sportive, potentially the last unless agreement can be reached with Scottish Borders Council chiefs on a route for future runnings, saying: “We’ve had a fair few amazing weekends but this one is right up there for me.
“Touro genuinely means so much to so many of the people who come here to ride it.
“The overwhelming response to the event on Sunday is testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver an event of this scale.”
A 120-strong team of volunteers, plus medics and event staff, work with a multi-agency control centre – manned by the police, Transport Scotland officials and other emergency services – to keep participants and other road users safe and to keep traffic disruption to a minimum.
“None of our other events has as many moving parts or groups or organisations involved as this one,” said Dalgleish.
“So much planning goes into one day and we couldn’t achieve what we do without the support of every team involved, plus our local businesses and communities.”
Hawick Cycle Club’s Nikki Elder and Jamie Nisbet were the highest-placed Borderers on Sunday, taking second and sixth places overall with just 18 seconds dividing them, clocking 3:04.21 and 3:04.39 respectively.
Peebles rider Peter Dixon took top spot in the over-40 men’s category with 3:10.17 and Lauren Davis was the fastest female int 3:17.48.
Fellow Peebles cyclist Sam Ferry took top spot in the male under-20 class with a time of 3.18.37.
Hillside Outside, the Peebles company that organises the tour, has already confirmed it won’t be run in 2024 but efforts are ongoing to bring it back at a later date.
A spokesperson for the firm added: “After the positive feedback from this weekend, they will be fighting harder than ever to bring Touro back for future editions.
“Neil and his team believe some progress has been made, but there are still mixed messages coming from Scottish Borders Council.
“A meeting has been requested to clear up any misinformation and discuss the future of the event.
“Tour o’ the Borders is the south of Scotland’s biggest mass-participation sports event and attracts visitors from all over the UK and beyond.
“Although this brings with it widespread benefits to local tourism, Hillside Outside understands the impact that closed roads can have on businesses and the community and they would like to thank those affected for their patience and understanding.”