Race organisers have announced that the UCI 2.1 Tour of Britain will once again take in Scotland with this year's third stage being raced between Jedburgh and Dumfries.
Taking place on 11 September, the stage will undoubtedly be one of the most spectacular of the eight-stage event as the route takes in some of Scotland's most picturesque scenery. After leaving Jedburgh the riders will head west, through Hawick, and the Craik Forest to St Mary's Loch. From Moffat the stage heads via Johnstonebridge and Lochmaben, before entering Dumfries for three laps of a short 13km finishing circuit, which will give spectators extra chances to catch a glimpse of the action.
Re-launched in 2004 after a five year absence from the calendar, The Tour of Britain is now the UK's biggest professional cycle race and the country's largest free-to-watch sporting event.
Mark Cavendish took the spoils in Dumfries in 2011; the first of two stages the Manxman would win en-route his world title in Copenhagen. The 2012 event concludes a week before the Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
Commenting on the announcement, Team Raleigh – GAC's Evan Oliphant said; "It's great to have The Tour of Britain back in Scotland again it's always special to race on home roads in such a prestigious event. Finishing in Dumfries also adds a special touch as I have family who live there."
Cycling enthusiasts will also be given a unique opportunity to follow in the wheel-prints of the professionals as the mass-participation Tour Ride returns for 2012. Taking place on 26 August, cyclists have the option of a shorter 93km Challenge Ride or the full 140km Pro Ride, which includes the closing circuit in Dumfries, and roads used in previous Tour of Britain stages.
To find out more and to sign-up for The Tour Ride, head to www.tourride.co.uk
"We are looking forward to returning, not just to Scotland but also to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway this September." said Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett. "I'd like to encourage people to come to Scotland for The Tour Ride and to sample the Dumfries & Galloway roads for themselves, then of course they can return on 11th September and sit back and watch the world's top cyclists on the same roads."