Edinburgh will host the start of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the first time ever as Britain’s biggest professional cycle race begins in the Scottish capital and the Scottish Borders on Sunday 3 September.

Stage One of the race will head from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where the race will start outside of St Giles’ Cathedral, through East Lothian and into the Scottish Borders with the finish coming in the town of Kelso.

The 188-kilometre opening leg will also include a 79-kilometre loop in the Scottish Borders, giving fans at the finish in Kelso town centre the opportunity to see the world’s top riders in action twice.

Full Stage ETAs and details of the intermediate SKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints will be published here in the build up to the race so please keep checking back here.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the inspiring capital of Scotland and a major tourism centre and gateway to the rest of the country. Centuries of history meet a vibrant, cosmopolitan city in an unforgettable setting.

This year sees Edinburgh celebrating 70 years as a festival city and is home to the largest annual international arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Fringe. The city’s historical and cultural attractions have made it a popular tourist destination attracting over four million visitors each year. The city is dotted with hundreds of historic sites including the famous castle that hosts the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, close by to where the Grand Depart will start.

Edinburgh has something for all budgets and tastes, and whether you are after fine dining in one of the city’s five-star Michelin restaurants or coffee and cake, Edinburgh boasts more restaurants per head than any other city in the UK! Edinburgh is also well known for its bustling pub culture, from exclusive bars to traditional pubs.

Edinburgh is a very cycle friendly city with an extensive network of traffic-free routes, such as old railway lines, that weave their way through the city. Popular cycling routes in the city include the Union Canal Path, Water of Leith Walkway or Innocent Cycle Path – all easy routes with great scenery.

Find out more about cycling and walking in and around Edinburgh here.

Edinburgh Royal Mile

East Lothian

East Lothian again plays host to the Tour of Britain as the route passes through on stage one of the 2017 Tour.

Passing through many of the coastal towns along the Firth of Forth, the Tour will weave in and out along Scotland’s Golf Coast road; from Musselburgh passing Musselburgh Racecourse, home of the Edinburgh Cup, through Prestonpans, the mural town, along to Longniddry with its famous bents.  From here the route heads inland over the Garleton Hills with stunning views of the East Lothian countryside.

This year the Tour also takes in the county town of Haddington, with the majestic St Mary’s Church, the largest parish church in Scotland, which overlooks the River Tyne.

The route carries on out through Pencaitland, with the 5* Glenkinchie Distillery close by, and up into the Lammermuirs where the first Skoda King of the mountains points will be contested by the riders. From the top there are impressive views across East Lothian, over the Firth of Forth to Fife.

East Lothian is a perfect location for a cycling holiday, with pretty towns and villages to explore, award winning attractions and great places to eat and drink. There is a good mix of accommodation offering choices to suit all tastes and budget.  A range of suggested cycle routes  are available to help visitors and locals alike get around easily and experience all the best of  East Lothian. Why not try East Lothian for your next cycling break? You can find out more at www.visiteastlothian.org.

Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders is delighted to host the Tour of Britain for a fourth time. Spectators will have the added bonus this year of Kelso featuring twice, with a loop running through the town ahead of the finish later in the afternoon.

The Scottish Borders is the most cycle-friendly destination in Scotland, with over 100 Cyclists Welcome Scheme members from accommodation, cafes and attractions to bike hire and repair shops. The area is renowned for the great cycling available, from the long distance waymarked on-road cycle routes to the world famous 7stanes mountain biking destinations of Glentress, Innerleithen and Newcastleton. There are over 50 road cycling route options available on the Cycle Scottish Borders website.

From the castles of Duns, Hume, Roxburgh and Floors to the home of rugby sevens in Melrose, the birthplace of the Coldstream Guards and the iconic Scott’s View vista, named after Sir Walter Scott, the route takes in some of the region’s gems.

Stage One also passes close to the abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh and Kelso, which are linked with that at Jedburgh by the Four Abbeys Cycle Route.

All along the route there will be incredible viewing opportunities. Following the opening of the Borders Railway in September 2015, the longest new domestic railway in the UK for over a century, spectators will also be able to take in both the Grand Depart in Edinburgh and the stage as it passes through the Borders, utilising the train between Edinburgh Waverley and Tweedbank.

Furthermore, Stage One coincides with the annual Tour O’ The Borders closed-road cycle sportive around Tweeddale.

Further details around Stage One can be found here.