Scotland will host the opening stage of the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Saturday 7 September with Stage One of Britain’s national Tour beginning in George Square in Glasgow and finishing in Dumfries and Galloway.
The stage will be jointly hosted by EventScotland, Glasgow Life and Dumfries and Galloway Council. Today’s announcement follows Glasgow and Scotland’s recent success in securing the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023, which was announced earlier in the year.
This year’s race will begin on a Saturday for the first time since 2010, allowing the Glasgow Grand Depart to form part of an exciting weekend of cycling as the 20th anniversary edition of the Pedal for Scotland charity event departs from the city on the Sunday morning. The 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain will run over eight stages from Saturday 7 to Saturday 14 September.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Events play a vital role in our visitor economy and the OVO Energy Tour of Britain is part of an exciting calendar of cycling events, taking place across Scotland this summer. With more than 2,000 miles of the National Cycle Network covering the country, the event provides the perfect stage to showcase this to an international audience of cycling enthusiasts.
“As a long-term partner, EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of the Tour of Britain in 2019. The successful hosting of this annual event has helped establish Scotland as a world leading sports destination, which, was key in securing the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.”
British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, added: “This announcement is a further feather in the cap for Scotland, which has consistently proved itself to be a fantastic host for some of cycling’s biggest events in recent years. The newly-formed Women’s Tour of Scotland, the forthcoming UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow and, of course, the 2023 world championships all demonstrate the standing with in which Scotland is held in the cycling world.
“We share with all of our event partners a determination that these events should not only showcase the very best of cycling at elite level, but provide necessary inspiration for people across Scotland and Great Britain to get out on their bikes. We look forward to what I’m sure will be a wonderful opening stage, the legacy of which will be felt long after the Tour departs.”
This will mark the sixth occasion that Glasgow has hosted the modern edition of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, with the race visiting for the first time since 2016. On that occasion Andre Greipel won the opening stage from Glasgow to Castle Douglas.
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “When the Tour of Britain Grand Depart was last hosted by Glasgow in 2016, thousands of people lined the city streets to see elite riders and teams in action as they set off on the first stage of the competition. I’m sure this year will be no different.
“Glasgow has a proud sporting history – and was recently announced as one of the top five sporting cities in the world. I can’t think of a better place to begin such an iconic race than the world-renowned George Square in the heart of our city.
“The Tour of Britain presents cycling fans with an unparalleled opportunity to see their favourite teams and riders take to the roads through their very own city, and I know the people of Glasgow are very excited to see this event in just a few months!”
Dumfries and Galloway also most recently welcomed the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in 2016, but has been a regular fixture on the route of Britain’s most prestigious cycle race, having hosted stages on nine previous occasions, with winners including Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Elia Viviani.
Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion said, “Cycling fans in our corner of Scotland will be thrilled with the news that the Tour of Britain is to return to Dumfries and Galloway. The Tour is a much loved event here, and we are proud of our long association with the UK’s most significant cycling event. To host Stage One is a great privilege that we are delighted to accept and will work to ensure is a great success.”
Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling, said: “At Scottish Cycling we are thrilled to be welcoming the Tour of Britain back to Scotland for the 2019 edition of the race. We know that major events are key in inspiring more people to ride bikes in Scotland, therefore securing and staging elite racing is fundamental to achieving our ambition of developing a nation of cyclists. They are also a great way of bringing cycling clubs, schools and communities together, and we look forward to hearing the Scottish cheer on the day!”
OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said, “We are delighted to be returning to Scotland and look forward once again to a warm welcome for the opening stage of this country’s biggest professional bike race.
“Both Glasgow and Dumfries & Galloway have hosted some fantastic and memorable stages of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, and I am confident that this September will be no different.”
Further details of the Scottish stage, including the finish location for Stage One in Dumfries and Galloway, will be announced on Wednesday 29 May at the national launch of the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
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.
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