Cycling's Tour of Britain coming back to Borders for ninth time

Cycling’s Tour of Britain is coming back to the Borders for the ninth time this year, it’s been announced.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 8:53 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 9:15 am
Riders heading through Borders countryside en route for Edinburgh last September during 2021's Tour of Britain (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)
Riders heading through Borders countryside en route for Edinburgh last September during 2021's Tour of Britain (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

Stage two of this year’s tour, the UK’s biggest cycle race, will start and finish in the region on Monday, September 5, on its way south from Aberdeenshire to the Isle of Wight.

That will be the ninth time the tour has taken in the Borders, following previous visits in 2021, 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009, including a stage start in Hawick last year and a stage start and finish in Kelso two years previously.

This year’s route has yet to be confirmed but further details are to follow next Wednesday, April 6.

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Not only is the tour returning to the region but it will be preceded by a companion event also organised by Surrey-based sport marketing firm SweetSpot, the Tour Series, in just over a month’s time.

Round two of that family-friendly cycling event, coming to the Borders for the first time, will take place in Galashiels, on Wednesday, May 4.

Mick Bennett, race director for both the Tour of Britain and Tour Series, said: “Few places lend themselves more to cycling than the Borders, owing to the mix of historic, unforgettable towns and stunning countryside roads.

“To be able to take the Tour Series there for the first time and return with the Tour of Britain once again shows the appetite for our world-famous events in the region.

“My gratitude goes out to everybody at the Scottish Borders Council for their continued support, dedication and passion.”

Sam Smith, the council’s chief officer for economic development, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring back the Tour of Britain to the Borders again this year and to be hosting a round of the televised Tour Series for the first time too.

“These will be fantastic occasions for the area and will bring in visitors and provide great exposure for the Borders, further strengthening our position as Scotland’s leading cycling destination.

“I’d like to thank our partners Live Borders and Energise Galashiels for their support in bringing the Tour Series to Galashiels and their commitment to help make it an amazing event for the community and visitors.”

Galashiels will be the sixth Scottish host venue in the Tour Series’ 13-year history, with a one-kilometre lap taking place on a technical circuit starting and ending next to Bank Street Gardens.

Details of its route through the town centre can be found at scotborders.gov.uk/tourseries

Highlights of both the men’s and women’s Tour Series races will be broadcast on ITV4.

Last year’s Tour of Britain was won by Belgian rider Wout Van Aert, with current world road race champion Julian Alaphilippe finishing third overall.

Roadside crowds totalling more than a million spectators are estimated to have generated almost £30m for the UK economy last time round.