The Tour of Britain’s Grand Depart will return to Scotland next year.
The move, revealed this week by EventScotland, means the race will visit England, Scotland and Wales in the same edition in 2011 – the first time that has happened since the Tour relaunch in 2004.
Next year’s riders will cycle through the Scottish Borders, and Dumfries and Galloway for the 2011 start.
Paul Bush OBE, COO for EventScotland said: “The Tour of Britain is a highlight on the cycling calendar for top international cyclists and enthusiasts from around the world.
"EventScotland are delighted to announce that this world class event will return to Scotland next year and we are already in the planning stages to ensure that our stage will one of the best of The Tour for everyone involved.”
Vicky Davidson, Scottish Borders Council executive member for Economic Development added: “This is excellent news for Scotland. When the Tour was here in 2009 it had a considerable impact on the Scottish Borders and to secure the Grand Depart and the Tour Ride really will keep the Scottish Borders on the map as a world class cycling destination.
"Businesses got right behind the event in Peebles last year and thousands of spectators turned out to watch the event, so I anticipate a great response next year.”
Councillor Ian Carruthers from Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Dumfries and Galloway is proud to have been at the heart of the Tour of Britain since 2005, and we have witnessed many dramatic incidents and memorable Stage finishes over the past few years that have helped to define previous Tours. Dumfries and Galloway Council is serious about supporting cycling and we anticipate many thousands of fans turning out for the first day and sole Scottish Stage of the 2011 Tour of Britain.”
Event organiser SweetSpot will work with supporting Scottish agencies over the next 12 months. The firm’s chief exec Hugh Roberts said: “We are delighted to be bringing The Tour of Britain back to Scotland for Stage One of the 2011 race, and we look forward to an exciting stage showcasing the world-class scenery that the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway offer.
“Scotland has twice before hosted the Grand Depart of The Tour to much acclaim, so I’m sure we can once again look forward to a fantastic reception when we return next September.”