The provisional teams have been announced for the Tour Of Britain which starts on Sunday.
Sixteen teams have each named six riders for the race which starts in Peebles and finishes in Wesminster on Sunday with an individual time trial.
Amongst the big names competing are Mark Cavendish, David Millar, Geraint Thomas, Jens Voigts, Thor Hushovd, Thomas de Gendt and Lars Boom
ITV4 will be showing daily highlights of the race which will have three ‘ŠKODA King of the Mountain’ sprints taking place on each stage of this year's race.
The Tour of Britain departs from Scotland on Sunday
Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway host Grand Depart of Britain's biggest professional cycle race
For all those cycling enthusiasts across Scotland, Sunday presents the perfect opportunity to get up-close to some of the best cyclists in the world on home soil when The Tour of Britain sets off from Peebles and heads to Dumfries for Stage One of the UK’s largest professional cycling race.
Almost 100 of the world's top cyclists racing the 170 kilometres, including multiple Tour de France stage winner and HTC Highroad team member Mark Cavendish,will be hoping for some support as they tackle the highs and lows of the road ahead.
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “I’m delighted that some of the biggest names in the world of cycling will be setting off from Peebles in the first stage of this year’s Tour of Britain. Scotland has some fantastic terrain for cycling and I am sure the route to Dumfries will produce challenging and exciting racing for the riders and spectators alike. Hopefully the sight of the peloton hurtling by will encourage and inspire those watching to take to their bikes and enjoy the many benefits of cycling.”
EventScotland’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Bush said,“Cycling continues to boom across the country and we are looking forward to welcoming the Grand Depart of the 2011 Tour of Britain on Sunday. It will be a wonderful spectacle and will showcase Scotland as the perfect stage for cycling events.”
Tour of Britain Chief Executive Hugh Roberts commented,“We are very pleased to be starting The Tour of Britain in Peebles, on what is a fantastic weekend of cycling in Scotland.We look forward to playing our part in the celebrations, and hope Scottish cycling fans come out to give The Tour a great send off.”
The route of Stage One of The Tour of Britain will begin in the centre of Peebles at 10.15am before heading along the Tweed Valley to Innerleithen. From here the climbing begins, taking the race over a series of climbs to Tweedsmuir and then on to Moffat.After hitting Dumfries for the first time Stage One will take in a loop of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside, before turning for home and the finish line in the centre of Dumfries.
Three intermediate Yodel Sprints on the road to Dumfries will see riders battling it out for the right to wear the highly distinctive and new-for-2011 Yodel Sprints Jersey. Spectators will see the peloton in full flight competing for points and vital bonus seconds at Innerleithen, Moffat and on the first passage of the finish line in Dumfries.
Thousands of spectators are expected to gather at Dumfries Whitesands to see the race come through the town before 1pm and finish one hour later.A whole range of cycling themed entertainment is being organised by Dumfries and Galloway Council in celebration of the tour and a replica of the Kirkpatrick Macmillan bicycle - the world's first - will be on show. The bicycle is normally on show at Drumlanrig Castle.
Spectators in Dumfries will also be the first anywhere to see the new IG Markets Gold Jersey awarded to The Tour's overall race leader after Stage One.
The highly popular Skoda King of the Mountains competition also returns, with Category Three climbs at Megget Hill, Devil's Beef Tub and Bank Hill, giving the climbers the chance to entertain Scottish spectators.
It is set to be a busy weekend for cycling across Scotland with several events being staged across the country. Highlights include theScottish BordersExhibition ‘Criterium’ cycling race on Saturday evening in Peebles around the High Street and the Tweedgreen course; and on Sundayfreshnlo Pedal for Scotland will see thousands of riders’ cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh. With both a 51-mile and 100-mile route mapped out between the west and east coast cities as well as a 3-mile family ride, everyone is catered for.
Daily Highlights of the Tour of Britain will be shown on ITV4, with the action from Stage One airing at 19:00 on Sunday 11th September.