Scotland to host grand depart of the tour of britain

Scotland will welcome the return of The Tour of Britain when it hosts the Grand Depart of the tenth anniversary edition of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race this September.

Peebles and Drumlanrig Castle will host the start and finish of Stage One of The Tour of Britain on Sunday 15th September, while a mass participation Tour Ride will allow amateur cyclists to join the world’s best on the roads of the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway the day prior to the opening leg.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said, “This will be the eighth Tour of Britain we have supported since 2005, and the event has certainly gone from strength to strength each year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and The Tour of Britain truly showcases our stunning landscapes, which is even more fitting in 2013, the year of natural Scotland. From the mass participation Tour Ride to the opening stage from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle, the Grand Depart weekend in Scotland will be a great celebration of all things cycling.”

The Tour Ride Scotland will allow amateur cyclists the full professional experience as they ride from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle on Saturday 14th September getting the Grand Depart celebrations underway in style.

“Peebles embraced The Tour of Britain on our last visit there for the Grand Depart in 2011 so we are delighted to be returning, and know that Scotland will be the perfect stage for our tenth Grand Depart,” said Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of SweetSpot Group, the organisers and promoters of The Tour of Britain. “Stage One will be a tough but scenic opening to this year’s Tour and we hope that cycling fans from all over Britain will join us to make the Grand Depart truly memorable.”

The Scottish Borders has hosted The Tour of Britain three times previously, from Peebles in 2009 and 2011 and from Jedburgh in 2012.

Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development said, “I am delighted that the Grand Depart of this year’s Tour of Britain is returning to the Scottish Borders in 2013.  It is a true reflection of the quality of the area as a cycling destination.  The event will have a significant economic impact on the area and we will be working closely with The Tour, EventScotland and businesses to ensure that opportunities to generate more spend in the local economy are maximised, attracting visitors and ensuring they have an experience they will always remember. The Council has been supporting the development of cycling tourism and this year’s route will showcase exactly why cyclists recognise the Borders as a top UK cycling destination.”  

The Tour of Britain last visited Drumlanrig Castle in 2008, when Edvald Boasson Hagen won, while Dumfries has hosted stage finishes in the past two editions of the race, both won by Mark Cavendish.

Councillor Finlay Carson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events champion said, “The dramatic pink sandstone backdrop of Drumlanrig Castle will be a unique and beautiful location for visitors to Day One of the 2013 Tour of Britain. The Tour is one of our region’s most outstanding live sports events and has built up a huge following since The Tour first visited in 2005. I am delighted Dumfries and Galloway Council is once again part funding and supporting The Tour of Britain in Scotland.”

Stage One will take in a 200-kilometre route passing through Selkirk, Hawick, Gretna and Dumfries before riders tackle a short finishing circuit based around Drumlanrig Castle.

There will also be an extra chance for fans in the south of Scotland to see The Tour, as after a short trip over the border Carlisle will host the Stage Two start on Monday 16th September, ahead of a tough Lake District Stage.

The tenth anniversary Tour of Britain will also visit Merseyside, Stoke-on-Trent, Wales, Devon and Surrey before a final stage in central London on Sunday 22nd September.  For full details of the route, please visit

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