Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have agreed a deal to host the Tour of Britain in 2020 and 2021, beginning with the final stage of next year’s race on Sunday 13 September.

Building on the success of the Tour Series, which has taken place in Aberdeen City since 2017, the UK’s biggest and longest-running international cycle race will also host its 2021 Grand Depart in the region.

Not only will the 2020 stage mark the first time the Tour of Britain has visited the region, it will also be the furthest point north the modern edition of the race has ever reached.

Full details of the 2020 stage route will be unveiled in due course, although it can be revealed that the successor to Dutch sensation Mathieu van der Poel will be crowned in Aberdeen city centre following a day of racing largely set in the stunning Aberdeenshire countryside.

The stage will be designed to maximise the benefit for tourism, for local communities and for young people to become involved, promoting the region to a global TV audience and to encourage cycling to improve health and wellbeing. Supporting events and activities will also be planned ahead of the stage, as well as on the day itself.

2020 Tour of Britain route

Today’s announcement means that three of next year’s eight stages have now been unveiled:

  • Stage one | Penzance to Bodmin, Cornwall | Sunday 6 September
  • Stage two | Sherford to Exeter, Devon | Monday 7 September
  • Stage eight | Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire | Sunday 13 September

The full race route will be unveiled at the Tour’s national launch in early 2020.

Earlier this month race organiser SweetSpot announced that they are looking for a new title partner for the Tour of Britain in 2020 onwards following the conclusion of the three-year partnership with OVO Energy.

2019 Tour recap

Relive the best moments of this year’s Tour, which started with two stages in Scotland and was won by Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel.

In quotes

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to have worked in partnership with Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire Councils and SweetSpot to bring the Tour of Britain to the region over the next two years. Securing the event was part of a longer-term strategy to bring more cycling events to the Granite City, starting with the Tour Series.

“Events play a key role in our visitor economy and the addition of the Tour comes at an exciting time for the city and the region, which has recently seen the reopening of the Aberdeen Art Gallery along with the opening of the brand-new events venue, P&J Live. These world-class facilities together with this world-class event ensures Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire continues to move in its new direction of becoming a credible player on Scotland’s tourism stage.”

Cllr Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, added: “Securing the Tour of Britain is a sign of our ambition and determination as a Council to bring the biggest, best and most vibrant events to Aberdeen and the north-east. I have no doubt it will be a huge attraction to local audiences as well as bringing in visitors from throughout Britain and across the world.

“Through our Aberdeen 365 events strategy we have established a world class programme and this represents another fantastic addition to a calendar that is not only of benefit to local residents culturally but also to our economy by driving footfall and visitor spend. We look forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain and showcasing Aberdeen.”

Cllr Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning landscapes of our region to a global audience, attract spectators both locally and from afar to enjoy world-class cycling and to support our economy through hotel stays, or spending money in local shops and businesses.

“I also hope that the residents and business community of the North East get involved, either as spectators, through sponsorship or by getting involved in one of the many supporting events that we expect to take place during the event. This will be a truly celebratory event that will put the region firmly on the map as a destination for world class sporting events, tourism and business.”

Julie Harrington, CEO of British Cycling, said: “On behalf of British Cycling, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire on being selected as the host destination for the finish of the Tour of Britain.

“Over recent years the Tour has grown almost beyond recognition, benefiting from the huge surge in the popularity of cycling, and is now firmly recognised as a cornerstone of the British sporting calendar. Aberdeen has done a wonderful job in staging rounds of the Tour Series in the past few years, and will once again provide a fitting backdrop as the Tour of Britain concludes there next year.”

Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling added: “At Scottish Cycling we are thrilled to be welcoming the Tour of Britain to Aberdeen for the 2020 and 2021 editions of the race. We know that major events are key in inspiring more people to ride bikes in Scotland, therefore securing and staging elite racing in the north of Scotland is fundamental to achieving our ambition of developing a nation of cyclists. They are also a great way of bringing cycling clubs, schools and communities together, and inspiring the next generation of young riders!”