South Scotland

Tour of Britain: Australian wins Scottish stage

Cyslists at finish line Image copyright PA
Image caption Sprint finish at the end of the stage

Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan has won the first stage of the Tour of Britain.

The 23-year-old joined some of cycling's biggest names for the Scottish stage which ran from Edinburgh to Kelso.

Mark Cavendish, returning to cycling after breaking his shoulder blade in July. and 30-time Tour de France stage winner, was among those taking part.

Ewan just beat Edvald Boasson Hagen on the line, with Elia Viviani coming in third.

The riders passed Haddington, Gifford, Duns and Coldstream before making a loop through the Borders, starting and finishing in Kelso.

Last year's event also opened with a Scottish stage from Glasgow to Castle Douglas which was won by German sprinter Andre Greipel.

Image caption Mark Cavendish (front) was among the cyclists taking part
Image caption Cyclists at the start of the race

It is the sixth time that the opening stage of the Tour of Britain has taken place in Scotland since the race was revived in 2004.

It has only once before visited Edinburgh, in 2015, while the Borders has hosted the event on four occasions, most recently in 2015 when Elia Viviani won a stage finishing at Floors Castle outside Kelso.

Scottish Cycling described the event as a "great showcase for cycling in Scotland" while VisitScotland said it brought economic benefits and a "global profile".

The first stage of the 2017 Tour of Britain also coincides with the annual Tour O' The Borders closed-road cycle sportive in the Tweeddale area.

After the Scottish stage the race heads south to a finish in Cardiff next Sunday.

Winners of the Tour of Britain's stages in Scotland since relaunch

Image copyright SweetSpot
Image caption Andre Greipel won the Scottish stage into Castle Douglas last year
  • 2005 - Nick Nuyens (Bel) Glasgow to Castle Douglas
  • 2006 - Martin Pedersen (Den) Glasgow to Castle Douglas
  • 2007 - Paul Manning (GB) Dumfries to Glasgow
  • 2008 - Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Glasgow to Drumlanrig
  • 2009 - Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Peebles to Gretna
  • 2011 - Mark Cavendish (GB) Peebles to Dumfries
  • 2012 - Mark Cavendish (GB) Jedburgh to Dumfries
  • 2013 - Elia Viviani (Ita) Peebles to Drumlanrig
  • 2015 - Elia Viviani (Ita) Cockermouth in Cumbria to Floors Castle, Kelso
  • 2015 - Fernando Gaviria (Col) Edinburgh to Blyth in Northumberland
  • 2016 - Andre Greipel (Ger) Glasgow to Castle Douglas

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