The Scottish Borders welcomed the AJ Bell Tour of Britain on Saturday, with large crowds in Hawick for the stage seven start and throughout the route.

Belgian rider Yves Lampaert of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team took victory in Edinburgh at the end of a stage dominated by a six-man breakaway group.

Earlier in the day, some of the world’s top riders, including Olympic medalist Wout van Aert, Tour de France legend Mark Cavendish and World Champion Julian Alaphilippe raced through the Scottish Borders on a route that included Roberton, Innerleithen, Stow, Lauder and Duns.

Spectators who watched at least one stage of this year’s AJ Bell Tour of Britain are encouraged to take part in a survey following the event. Those completing the survey will be entered into a draw to win a bundle of prizes from the AJ Bell Tour of Britain partners. Click here to complete the survey.

Video: Watch highlights of stage seven, held between Hawick and Edinburgh

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, said: “For the eighth time in 12 years the Scottish Borders has hosted the UK’s most prestigious road race, the Tour of Britain. Communities across the Borders got involved with fabulous window displays in Hawick, bikes and decorations in towns and settlements across the region, and great crowds all around the route. Our communities really did themselves proud and offered great support to the riders.

“The route, from Hawick to the Ettrick Valley, Stow, Lauderdale and Berwickshire provided a challenge for the world’s best, and the Borders landscape gave an exceptional setting, and will have been viewed by many millions across the UK and around the world on TV and social media. That profile will create longer-term benefits, improving the Borders’ profile, encouraging more visitors and showing that #scotlandstartshere.

“Borderers’ passion for cycling of all sorts is clear to see, and as Scotland’s leading cycling destination, on and off road, it is vital we continue to invest and promote our area as the UK’s natural capital of cycling.

“Bringing national and international events to the Scottish Borders has exceptionally positive economic and social impacts. That is why I was keen the Council invested in bringing the Tour of Britain back to the area, and particularly having that great start in Hawick where the Hawick Festival of Cycling really captured the town’s imagination.

“I’m already looking forward to seeing another world class bike event, the Enduro World Series, in the area later this month, which the Council has also supported to bring to the region. This will be yet another huge opportunity for Borders to grasp and enjoy!”