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4 September 2022
Glenshee Ski Centre
Download the stage map here.
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will host the Tour of Britain Grand Départ for the first time ever on Sunday 4 September 2022.
Presented by TotalEnergies, the eighth Scottish Grand Départ in modern Tour history will mark the furthest north the race has ever started.
Stage one will begin in Aberdeen city centre, where a full weekend of activities, including the Scottish Cycling Criterium Championships, is planned.
Not only will this stage feature an entirely new route compared to last year’s finale in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, it will also include the first-ever opening day summit finish in modern race history. The Old Military Road climb from Auchallater to Glenshee Ski Centre measures 9.1 kilometres long, with the final five kilometres averaging a gradient of 4.8%.
Aberdeen previously welcomed the race for the first time last year when it was the finish venue for the eighth and final stage. Belgian star Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo – Visma) triumphed en route to being crowned overall champion.
Spectators wishing to drive and park at Glenshee Ski Centre will need to pre-book their passes: click here for more information
Aberdeen – Union Street 11am
Aberdeen Esplanade 11:15am
Bennachie Forest (cat 3) 12:16pm
Lord’s Throat (cat 3) 12:33pm
Suie Hill (cat 2) 1:13pm
Glenshee Ski Centre (cat 1) 3:34pm
Click here for the full stage timetable.
Spectators wishing to drive and park at Glenshee Ski Centre will need to pre-book their passes. Overnight camping passes are also available. Click here for more information
Host venue for the second time
Known as the Granite City, Aberdeen is a unique, vibrant city that looks and feels quite different. A city steeped in history, the centre is lined with classic granite buildings and is home to Marischal College, the world’s second largest granite building. Old Aberdeen, with its cobbled streets, mature trees and 15th century fortified cathedral, and Footdee, a quirky fishing quarter, help to make Aberdeen one of the most architecturally distinctive cities in Europe.
Less than a mile from the city centre you will find a pristine golden sandy beach and promenade which hugs the coastline. From paddle boarding and surfing to watching the urban dolphins dance on the North Sea, the beach is a centre of activity.
Aberdeen is a cosmopolitan and connected place – with people working and studying here from around the world, their accents mixing with the sound of local Doric, an original Scots language.
Famous as a global energy hub and now leading the transition to renewables, Aberdeen stands out for enterprise and innovation. It is also a cultural capital with a bold and eclectic events calendar.
Aberdeen is, then, a world city in every sense – a magnificent place to live, invest and visit.
Host venue for the first time
Sitting some 2,199 feet above sea level, the Glenshee Ski Centre will provide a spectacular finish to stage one of the 2022 race like no other.
The centre itself is the UK’s largest snowsports area and sits on the furthest westerly edge of Aberdeenshire, nine miles south of the village of Braemar and straddling the Glenshee hills which rise to over 3,500 feet around it.
Here the A93 cuts through the Cairnwell Pass, the route which leads to the ski centre and the finish. The highest public road in the UK and historically a drovers’ route into the Highlands, the Pass is surrounded by rugged landscape, a fitting backdrop for the finish on day one, which will be as spectacular for the riders as for the worldwide TV audience.
Located within touching distance of the Queen’s summer residence of Balmoral Castle, riders will climb the nine miles (14.5 kilometres) from Braemar to Glenshee, following the River Clunie as it snakes towards the ski centre along the side of the Old Military Road and the stage finish.
The climb to the pass may start in Braemar, however its toughest sections are undeniably located towards its summit. The final five kilometres – which average a gradient 4.8% and gain 224 metres of elevation – will make for a thrilling finale.
Aberdeenshire stretches ‘from mountain to sea’ with everything in between. Bustling communities, vast open spaces, great estates, expanses of moorland, ancient Caledonian forests, rolling farmland, wide sandy beaches and expansive coastlines. History is writ large here too. Ancient sites and symbols mark this as a heartland of the ancient Picts.
In the millennia that followed, no fewer than 300 castles were built here. And of course, this majestic place has long been loved by monarchs.
Exploring the great outdoors on a bike in Aberdeenshire takes tourists and locals alike on a unique journey. In this part of Scotland, which hosts the opening stage of this prestigious tour, you’ll be challenged with legendary routes across Royal Deeside and tough climbs through the Cairngorms National park towards our ski centres.
There are a plethora of routes and trails within the region which will attract those who enjoy cycling and those with a passion for the great outdoors.
This is a place to come and never forget.
There’s no better way of watching the action at this year’s Tour of Britain than with our hospitality packages!
Secure a front-row seat at our stage starts and finishes, topped off with delicious food and drinks specifically chosen for cycling fans.
Fans can now book their hospitality passes for the Aberdeen start and Glenshee Ski Centre finish via Sportsbreaks.com, the official hospitality partner of the Tour of Britain.
Additionally, our expert team can build bespoke packages throughout the Tour to suit your needs. Contact Seb Roberts for more information.