An opening day summit finish at Glenshee Ski Centre will end the Tour of Britain’s first-ever Grand Départ in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in spectacular style this September.

Organisers SweetSpot have more details of stage one (Sunday 4 September), which will be the toughest opening day in the modern race’s 18-year history.

Aberdeen will become the third Scottish city to host the start of the race when the Tour of Britain’s most northerly Grand Départ to date takes place there, nearly 12 months on from the Granite City hosting the final of the 2021 event.

Not only will this stage feature an entirely new route compared to last year’s finale in the region, it will also include the first-ever opening day summit finish in modern race history.

The Old Military Road climb from Auchallater to Glenshee measures 9.1 kilometres long, with the final five kilometres averaging a gradient of 4.8%.

Stage map
Tour of Britain 2022 stage

Aberdeen City Council Chief executive Angela Scott said: “Last year’s final stage was a huge success and resulted in expenditure of around £3m in the city and Aberdeenshire.  We are delighted to be starting the 2022 race in the city centre – the Grand Départ is a bigger spectacle and we should see even more people attending the event this year.

 “The Events365 Plan delivers a number of events in the city and having an international sporting event like the Tour is a big opportunity to boost footfall over that weekend.  Despite the restrictions of Covid-19 in 2021, the event was incredibly well attended.  This year we are planning on a number of supporting activities to celebrate the Tour, welcoming the international teams and riders and showcasing Aberdeen as an events and tourism destination.”

Jim Savege, Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the opening stage of the 2022 Tour of Britain alongside Aberdeen City Council. As was clearly demonstrated when we hosted the final stage of last year’s event, there is massive local support for cycling here in the north-east of Scotland, with the excellent TV coverage helping to promote the region to a global audience.

“Not only does hosting the Tour bring visitors to the region and provide a welcome boost for our local economy, it enables us to showcase Aberdeenshire as a wonderful cycling destination. It also provides us with an opportunity to promote cycling as a healthy, fun activity for all ages to enjoy – and from an active travel perspective that’s helping us to look after our local environment.

“We are ready to give these elite riders and their teams another warm north-east welcome in September and trust they will relish the challenging route we once again have in store for them. As a keen cyclist myself, I am convinced the spectacular finish at the Glenshee Ski Centre will be something the likes of which the teams won’t experience anywhere else!”

Chris Foy, CEO of VisitAberdeenshire said: “Hosting the Grand Départ of this prestigious event will enhance the North-east’s profile as one of the country’s emerging cycling destinations. National TV coverage will turn a spotlight on our majestic landscape from the heart of the Granite city to an iconic climb to the finish at the Glenshee ski station in the spectacular East Cairngorms.

“We look forward to building on the momentum gathered in 2021 as spectators come out in force along the route to cheer on some of the sports’ top names and support local businesses at the same time.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to once again be working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council to bring stage one of the Tour of Britain to Scotland in 2022.”

“Scotland is the perfect stage for the Tour of Britain with great stretches of open roads and challenging climbs ideal for Britain’s leading men’s professional cycling race and is part of an exciting calendar of cycling events taking place this year as we build towards the first-ever UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023.”

Vice-chair of Nestrans Dr Maggie Bochel said: “There is great passion for cycling in the North East. The Tour of Britain, the fringe cycling events, and the different ways to participate in the build-up, help us all to celebrate and share this enthusiasm. “The route that the professional cyclists will take will showcase some of the region’s most challenging and beautiful rides. In creating a cycling legacy, we must also support the every-day routes that we use to travel to work, education or within our communities.

“It is Nestrans’ role to support cycling, and other forms of active travel, by working with partners to help create and enhance a safe and well-connected network of routes, to ensure that our city and towns offer attractive and accessible options for active travel.”

Alistair Robertson, Managing Director, Sport Aberdeen said: “It is fantastic to see the Tour of Britain confirm its return to the north-east, this time with the race beginning in Aberdeen city centre. “The buzz around Aberdeen last year when the race made its first debut to the city for the finish on the final day was immense.

“Cycling is a sport for all ages and abilities to enjoy and at Sport Aberdeen, we collaborate with several cycling charities to deliver Learn to Bike sessions and Bikeability in schools throughout the city. We want to ensure that all children can enjoy this skill for life.”

Full stage details

An interactive stage map, SKODA King of the Mountains and sprint locations, full timetable, and local resident information will be released in advance of race day on Sunday 4 September.