Castle Douglas is set to host a stage of the Tour of Britain when British Cycling’s premier road cycling event pushes off.
This will be the fifth time Scotland has hosted Stage One of the event and it is set to begin in Glasgow city centre on Sunday September 4.
Having last welcomed the Tour of Britain in 2008, Glasgow will host the Grand Depart of the opening stage, building on the success of hosting the Commonwealth Games and British National Road Race Championships in recent years.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:
“We are delighted that the first stage of the Tour of Britain will take place in Scotland for the fifth time in 2016 and we are sure that cycling enthusiasts from all of the country will be keen to turn out in support of all competitors.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events and Glasgow city centre will provide a fantastic setting for the riders as they push off on the first of eight days of competition, before encountering the scenic and challenging countryside of Dumfries and Galloway.”
It will be the eighth time that Dumfries and Galloway has hosted a stage finish of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, and the third time that Castle Douglas has welcomed a finish of the race.
Outside of London, no other region has hosted as many stage finishes since the Tour of Britain was revived in 2004.
Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion, said:
“Castle Douglas always has been serious about cycling.
“The town boasts three cycling shops and is proud of its history of twice previously hosting the Tour of Britain.
“What a great hat trick to bring this superb event back to this scenic market town for a third time!
“Castle Douglas is close to beautiful mountain bike trails at Dalbeattie, Mabie and Kirroughtree forests so we believe we are a great location for Stage One of the Tour.”
Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling said:
“Events such as the Tour of Britain inspire those who do not cycle to start, or those who do cycle, to push themselves further.
“The 2013 British National Road Race Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as the launch of the 2018 European Sports Championships have also proven Scotland’s capability and popularity for hosting international cycling events.
“Scottish Cycling is incredibly excited that Scotland will be hosting the opening stage of the Tour of Britain this year, and look forward to seeing some more elite racing.”
In both 2005 and 2006 the opening stage of the Tour of Britain ran from Glasgow to Castle Douglas, with Nick Nuyens and Martin Pedersen the respective winners, of both the Scottish stage and the overall race in those editions.
With the town eagerly anticipating the arrival of the race, local organisers are confident that around 10,000 spectators will turn out to watch riders crossing the finishing line.