The world’s top professional cyclists, including recent Olympic medalist Wout van Aert, current World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, and 34-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish, will come to the Scottish Borders for stage seven of the Tour of Britain.

However, the fun kicks off this weekend though, with the first half of the Cycling Festival in the Park taking place in Hawick – the stage seven start venue – today (Saturday 28 August) from 11am to 3pm in Wilton Lodge Park. The event will be repeated on Sunday 5 September.

There’s an opportunity to come and try the Hawick Community Pump Track, take part in cycle speedway racing, cycle football and find out more about cycling opportunities in and around the town. Live Borders, Cycling UK, Hawick Cycling Club and Cycling Without Age Scotland will all be in attendance.

Young ones will also be able to join in Bookbug sessions, there will be treasure hunts for young people of all ages, and Hawick Museum will be exhibiting the History of Hawick Cycling and the Ken Laidlaw Story.

More information can be found on the Hawick Festival of Cycling Facebook page or via www.scotborders.gov.uk/tourofbritain

Stage seven details

Stage seven of this year’s Tour of Britain takes place between Hawick, which hosts the race for the first time, and Edinburgh.

The 195-kilometre stage will start in North Bridge Street at 10.45am before heading for the Ettrick Valley, via Roberton. The riders will climb up to Berrybush, where ŠKODA King of the Mountain points will be on offer, then race on to Innerleithen for an Eisberg sprint. After tackling the hills of ‘The Granites’ the riders will cut east to Heriot and race down the A7 to Stow.

More ŠKODA King of the Mountain points will be available as the race climbs out of Stow towards Lauder, where there will then be sprint points available. A further sprint will take place in Duns, before a climb up to Wanside Rig via Ellemford and Cranshaws. The race will then drop down into East Lothian before a sprint for the finish line in Edinburgh city centre, in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat.

Estimated race timings can be found here. Road closures and parking restrictions will be in place in Hawick, while rolling road closures will operate across the route.

Guidance for spectators

Spectators planning to watch the race along any part of the route are asked to bear a few key things in mind:

  • Have a plan B – if you arrive at any point on the route and find it busy, please be prepared to move on to another location.
  • Personal responsibility – only stay at a location if you have space. Consider wearing a mask if it makes you feel safer.
  • Give people space – avoid crowded areas, and remember face coverings are advised as they often help others to feel safe too.
  • Parking is limited – please only park where parking is available, stick to local parking restrictions and never park on the route. Can you cycle or walk safely to the location where you want to watch the cyclists pass? Consider public transport where possible.
  • Respect the safety of the riders – please give them space as they pass along the route. Please note that you will not be able to access the team parking areas at the start and finishes.

In quotes

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, said: “I’d like to pay tribute to all those in the Hawick community that have absolutely embraced the opportunity of the Tour of Britain coming to the Scottish Borders and developed a fantastic range of events in the lead up to the race itself, which the Council and others have been able to support.

“Investing in attracting the Tour of Britain back to the Scottish Borders is part of the Council’s commitment to bringing the highest quality national and international events to the region and delivering long term benefits, in this case both economic and by encouraging all ages to take up or get back into cycling.

“A fantastic and challenging route through some of the Borders’ finest scenery awaits the teams of riders on Saturday 11 September and I hope that local people and visitors will enjoy the day and come out and safely support some of the world’s top cyclists as they race through our towns and villages.”