A locally designed and made trophy will be presented to the winner of stage two of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, celebrating the full route being in the Scottish Borders for the first time.
The stunning glass trophy. with oak plinth. has been made especially for the occasion by Kenny Scott of Caddon Design, based in Clovenfords, and will be presented to the Stage Two winner in Kelso on Sunday. September 8.
The trophy depicts cyclists racing through the Borders and was unveiled by ToBi, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain mascot.
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, said: “The Scottish Borders has hosted the Tour of Britain six times in the past 10 years, but this September will be the first time we’ve had both the start and finish of a stage, and also the whole route is within the Scottish Borders area.
“This gives us a fantastic opportunity to showcase more of the area than before and for even greater economic benefits.
“We felt it was only fitting to recognise this with a special trophy for the stage winner and this design will act as a reminder to whichever rider crosses the finish line first in Kelso of a memorable day in the beautiful Scottish Borders.
“The Scottish Borders is Scotland’s leading cycling destination and bringing Britain’s most prestigious international cycle race and some of the world’s best professional cyclists here will undoubtedly encourage cyclists from all over the UK, and even further afield, to come here to enjoy all we have to offer.”
Councillor Rowley added: “At over 160km long, Stage Two of this year’s race will pass many fantastic visitor attractions and I’d encourage spectators, wherever they are from, to make the most of the day.
“In Kelso, between the race start at 11am and finish at around 3pm, there will be the Tour Village to explore, live race coverage on big screens and activities and entertainment for all ages in the town centre. We’ve also had a very positive response from business who plan to be open on the day, so there will be lots to see and do throughout the day.”
The Scottish Borders stage will start in Kelso town centre, travel along the A698 to Coldstream before passing through Lennel en-route to Paxton. From there it will take the riders west, taking in Chirnside and Preston. Cutting across from Ellemford to Longformacus, the race will then drop down into Duns and pass through Gavinton and Westruther.
Gordon, Smailholm and then Clintmains all feature on the route before the climb to Scott’s View and descent to the foot of Leaderfoot viaduct. After passing through Gattonside, the riders will turn in to Melrose and climb Dingleton Hill before a fast run through Maxton to the finish line back in Kelso.
Mick Bennett, race director, said: “We are looking forward to our first full stage in the Scottish Borders this September. There are many great locations to watch the action on the beautiful route, whether it is in picturesque Melrose or Duns, or at SKODA King of the Mountains climb at Scott’s View, with its fantastic backdrop.
“We know Kelso will be very popular with fans as it gives a unique chance to see the start and finish, and to follow the action all day on our big screens in the Tour Village.”
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain begins in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday, September 7, finishing eight days later in Manchester city centre (Saturday, September 14).
ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage from start to finish of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights programme of the best of the action.
Re-launched in 2004 after a five-year absence from the calendar, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.
In addition, Team INEOS, Team Jumbo-Visma and Team Sunweb headline the 20 teams confirmed for the event, it was announced this week.
Eleven teams fresh from competing in the Tour de France will take part in the 16th edition of the modern Tour, including the French AG2R La Mondiale squad of Romain Bardet, who make their first appearance since 2009.
In total, the event will welcome 10 UCI World Tour teams in 2019, including Team Dimension Data of Mark Cavendish, EF Education First Pro Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton - Scott, Team Katusha Alpecin and the Movistar Team, which won the team classification at the Tour de France last month.
Five UCI ProContinental squads will compete, led by Corendon-Circus Cycling Team, already confirmed as bringing rising star Mathieu van der Poel to the race, while the Israel Cycling Academy team will make its debut with a potential line-up including the last back-to-back stage winner in the Tour of Britain, Matthias Brändle, and former Irish national champion Connor Dunne.
Joining them will be Belgian squads Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team and Sport Vlaanderen-aloise, who have both previously enjoyed riders winning jerseys in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, and the Danish Riwal Readynez Cycling Team team, which impressed on British roads this spring with a stage win in the Tour de Yorkshire for Alexander Kamp.
British fans will also be able to cheer on the Great Britain cycling team once again, with the line again expected to feature the best British professionals from outside of the teams competing, combined with the next generation of home stars, such as Ethan Hayter, who took four top 10 stage finishes during the 2018 race for Great Britain.
Four British UCI Continental squads will complete the field, having earned their places through a season long qualification criteria. OVO Energy Tour Series champions Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes will be joined by Madison Genesis, Team Wiggins Le Col and, making its race debut, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling.