Scotland Gearing Up for ‘Grand Depart Weekend’

Professional cyclists from Team UK Youth joined local riders at Drumlanrig Castle today (15 May) ahead of the ‘Grand Depart Weekend’ of the 2013 Tour of Britain. Saturday 14 September will see a celebration of cycling in Scotland with The Tour Ride Scotland sportive getting amateur cyclists onto the road just 24 hours before the professional teams get underway.

Stage One of the 10th Tour of Britain will depart from Peebles towards Drumlanrig Castle on Sunday 15 September featuring some of the world’s top riders. The 2012 Scottish stage from Jedburgh to Drumfries was won by the Manx-Missile Mark Cavendish, with the newly crowned Tour de France and Olympic Champion Sir Bradley Wiggins part of the Team Sky lead out.

Riders from Team UK Youth joined Race Director Mick Bennett and representatives from event partners EventScotland, Dumfries & Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council to launch The Tour Ride Scotland route, with the help of The Scottish Cycle Museum based at the castle.

The Tour Ride Scotland sportive will kick off the weekend with up to 1,000 riders tackling two exciting routes in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. The 100-mile Pro Ride will run from Peebles in the Scottish Borders to Drumlanrig Castle along some of the roads the professionals will race on 24-hours later.

Cyclists also have the choice of a 50-mile ride, which starts and finishes at Drumlanrig Castle, where riders will experience the exciting build up to The Tour Grand Depart.

The 100-mile route features the beautiful Tweed and Ettrick Valley’s with some testing climbs on peaceful roads during the route through to Dumfries & Galloway.

The shorter Challenge Ride gives amateur cyclists the chance to experience the closing kilometres of the opening stage of The Tour of Britain, and be a part of the weekend’s activities in and around Drumlanrig Castle.

Riders on both routes can look forward to support from Tour partners Maxifuel, Specialized, Costa Express, Highland Spring and Soreen plus many others on the day.

“The Tour of Britain celebrates its tenth anniversary this September, so we are working to ensure a Grand Depart to remember in Scotland”, said Race Director Mick Bennett.

“We look forward to as many people as possible joining us to ride The Tour Ride route on the Saturday and get the weekend off to a spectacular start.”

David Povall, Team Manager of Team UK Youth said: “The Tour Rides are a fantastic opportunity for the cycling community and the wider general public to experience, some or all, of a Tour of Britain stage.

“If any motivation is needed to undertake these well-organised, challenging, sportive events - raising money for the 102 year old National Charity - UK Youth - would be much appreciated.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland added: “The excitement and enthusiasm for cycling in Scotland has never been greater and I am sure that the Grand Depart Weekend of the 2013 Tour of Britain will capture the imagination of fans across the country.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the year of natural Scotland, the Tour Ride presents a fantastic opportunity for amateur riders to experience first-hand, the stunning scenery in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.”

Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling added: "It’s great to see that cyclists at all levels are given the opportunity to sample the tour route - I'm sure it will be a grand day out for all the riders and let us hope the sun will be shining for them and they have a tail wind for most of the route!"

The UCI Continental team, Team UK Youth, is owned and underwritten by Nigel Mansell CBE, and raises awareness, and the profile, of the charities projects across the UK, at no cost to the charity whatsoever.  You can see, and support the team at all of the major cycling events in the UK, including The Pearl Izumi Tour Series and The Tour of Britain.

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