South Scotland

Public urged to take Tour of Britain stage route challenge

Tour launch
Image caption Amateur cyclists can try out parts of the Tour of Britain's Scottish stage later this year

Amateur cyclists are being urged to take part in a Tour of Britain challenge the day before the race proper gets under way in Scotland.

The professionals will face the opening stage between Peebles and Drumlanrig Castle on 15 September.

The Tour Ride Scotland takes place 24 hours earlier with 100-mile and 50-mile routes available.

Last year's stage in southern Scotland was won by Mark Cavendish with a finish on the Whitesands in Dumfries.

Riders from Team UK Youth joined race director Mick Bennett and representatives from EventScotland, Dumfries and 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.

It is hoped up to 1,000 riders will take part in the charity event.

The 100-mile Pro Ride will run from Peebles in the Borders to Drumlanrig Castle along some of the roads the professionals will race on the following day.

It features the Tweed and Ettrick valleys with some "testing climbs on peaceful roads".

Cyclists also have the choice of a 50-mile ride, which starts and finishes at Drumlanrig Castle.

"The Tour of Britain celebrates its 10th anniversary this September, so we are working to ensure a Grand Depart to remember in Scotland", said Mr 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 described the event as a "fantastic opportunity for the cycling community and the wider general public to experience some, or all, of a Tour of Britain stage".

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