Cycling’s Tour o’ the Borders set to hit the road again in 2025

Cycling’s Tour o’ the Borders isn’t at the end of the road after all and is to make a comeback next year.
Cyclists taking part in 2023's Tour o' the Borders (Photo: Marc Marshall)Cyclists taking part in 2023's Tour o' the Borders (Photo: Marc Marshall)
Cyclists taking part in 2023's Tour o' the Borders (Photo: Marc Marshall)

Months of talks between Peebles-based organisers Hillside Outside and Scottish Borders Council officials have yielded an agreement for the sportive to return as a closed-road event in September 2025.

Failure to agree a route for what would have been the 11th tour this coming autumn following complaints by residents of villages set to be affected prompted Hillside Outside to announce last summer that it wouldn’t be going ahead, sparking fears that September gone’s event might end up being the last.

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The tour is now set to hit the road again, however, after negotiations going back months between the council and the event’s organisers.

Their agreement for the tour’s return in 2025 after a year off follows a survey carried out by the Newtown-based local authority attracting almost 600 responses from residents and businesses in Peebles, Innerleithen and the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys, more than three-quarters of them voicing support for the event.

First staged in 2012 but only on closed roads since 2014, the tour is billed by Hillside Outside as being the biggest mass-participation sporting event in the region, regularly attracting turnouts of about 2,000.

Announcing the council’s backing for a 2025 comeback for the tour, Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton, the authority’s executive member for business and community development, said: “The input of local businesses and residents has been key to our decision to continue to support this long-standing event, and we now look forward to working with the event organisers through our safety advisory group on their event plan for 2025.

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“As with any event which requires road closures, some disruption is inevitable, and we have strongly encouraged the organisers to proactively engage with communities along the route, mitigate the impacts as much as possible and ensure that communities and local businesses are aware of, and able to take advantage of, the benefits of the event and the visitors it brings to the area.

“With our ambitious South of Scotland cycling strategy and as an International Cycling Union bike region, we are committed to supporting existing cycling events in the area and encouraging new events and fully harnessing the power of the bike for the benefit of our residents, businesses, young people and visitors.”

That backing has been welcomed by Hillside Outside, with a spokesperson saying: “It’s been quite a journey, but we’ve now reached agreement on the future for the Tour o’ the Borders.

“After much consideration of responses, and in recognition of the inconvenience experienced in some areas, we have taken the decision not to run the tour in 2024.

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“That will give communities a break from the event, as requested in some responses.

“The tour will return as a closed-road event on Sunday, September 7, 2025, and we will continue to work with the council on it as a closed-road event thereafter, subject to all necessary permissions and agreements.

“The importance of the event as a sports event and as a contributor to the local economy has been recognised and we’re delighted it now seems to have more support than ever, so while there’s some disappointment about this year, we hope you agree that a more secure long-term future for the event is worth it.

“The huge amount of work gathering and listening to views has been a vital part of this process, and we will continue to respect the voices of those inconvenienced by the tour.

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“We’d like to thank Scottish Borders Council, the local communities involved and everyone who has provided input throughout this process.

“It’s worth noting that the decision not to run a closed-road event in 2024 was ultimately our own decision and was not mandated by any outside organisation.

“We hope riders will understand why we made that call and not be too disappointed. We’ll be back and more robust than ever in 2025.

“Entries for Tour o’ the Borders 2025 will be available very soon.”

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