Tour of Britain mascot ToBi joined children from St Michael’s Primary School at the famous Devorgilla Bridge in Dumfries yesterday (Monday 28th May), for the official launch of the Scottish Stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain.
Returning to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, the 2012 Tour of Britain will see some of the best road cyclists in the world race from Jedburgh to Dumfries. Taking place on 11 September, stage three of this year’s Tour will undoubtedly be one of the most spectacular as the route takes in some of Scotland’s most picturesque scenery.
After leaving Jedburgh the riders will head west, through Hawick, and the Craik Forest to St Mary’s Loch. From Moffat the stage heads via Johnstonebridge and Lochmaben, before entering Dumfries for three laps of a short 13km finishing circuit, which will give spectators extra chances to catch a glimpse of the action.
Commenting on the announcement, Team Raleigh – GAC’s Evan Oliphant said; “It’s great to have The Tour of Britain back in Scotland again it’s always special to race on home roads in such a prestigious event. Finishing in Dumfries also adds a special touch as I have family who live there.”
Last year’s stage was won by the ‘Manx-Missile’ Mark Cavendish, who went on to win the World Championships, and fans will be hoping to see the sport’s elite riders, just five weeks after the London Olympics.
Cycling enthusiasts will also be given a unique opportunity to follow in the wheel-prints of the professionals as the mass-participation Tour Ride returns for 2012. Taking place on 26 August, cyclists have the option of a shorter 93km Challenge Ride or the full 140km Pro Ride, which includes the closing circuit in Dumfries, and roads used in previous Tour of Britain stages.
To find out more and to sign-up for The Tour Ride, head to www.tourride.co.uk
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the stunning route between Jedburgh and Dumfries will undoubtedly provide the ideal backdrop for the Tour of Britain, by showcasing some of Scotland’s best roads and offering a real test for the riders.”
Councillor Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development said: “The Council’s involvement in The Tour of Britain is an important part of our overall contribution to developing tourism. Following the success of The Tour in Peebles in 2009 and 2011, I am delighted it is returning, and the Jedburgh-Hawick route to Dumfries will allow us to showcase other parts of the area.”
“This event generates a significant economic impact locally, and wider media and promotion provides a valuable PR legacy. We are working closely with cyclescottishborders.com and other local businesses so that they contribute to other activity aimed at giving visitors an experience that they remember. The event also enhances our reputation globally, particularly important in the context of EventScotland’s proposal to host stages of the Tour de France in 2017, and the potential of that event for the Borders. All of this reflects the quality the Borders offers as Scotland’s leading cycling destination.”
Cllr Ian Carruthers, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Planning and Environment Services Committee said, “I am thrilled Dumfries and Galloway will be in the national spotlight once again, as we host the Scottish Stage of The Tour of Britain. I am sure we will witness a dramatic day of racing, comparable to the excitement generated by Mark Cavendish’s Stage win in Dumfries in 2012. We value our partnership with The Tour of Britain, EventScotland and other event partners, to bring world class live sport to Dumfries and Galloway.”
“We are looking forward to returning, not just to Scotland but also to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway this September.” said Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett. “I’d like to encourage people to come to Scotland for The Tour Ride and to sample the Dumfries & Galloway roads for themselves, then of course they can return on 11th September and sit back and watch the world’s top cyclists on the same roads.”