The Aberdeenshire coastal town of Stonehaven will play host to the start of the final stage of the Tour of Britain on Sunday 13 September, as the UK’s biggest and most prestigious cycle race finishes in the north east of Scotland for the first time.

This year’s finale will see the world’s top riders racing through Aberdeenshire to a likely dramatic finish in the heart of Aberdeen city centre.

Race organisers SweetSpot have also confirmed that the stage will feature the famous Cairn o’Mount climb, a legendary three-kilometre ascent with an average gradient of 10%.

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will also host the opening stage of next year’s race in September 2021.

The full route of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire stage of the Tour of Britain will be announced in the spring at the national launch of the 2020 race.

Facts and figures

  • Stonehaven lies 24 kilometres (15 miles) south of Aberdeen, host venue for the stage eight finish
  • It is well known in Scotland for its annual Hogmanay fireballs ceremony – in which the arrival of a new year is celebrated by residents parading along its High Street swinging fiercely flaming balls around their heads
  • Locals often refer to it as “Stoney”
  • The 2011 Census recorded a population of 11,602 residents in Stonehaven
  • Strava user Steven T holds the record for the Cairn o’Mount climb segment with a time of 11:44. The fastest time logged by a woman on the site is 13:40 by Kirsten H

Cairn o'Mount Tour of Britain
Photo: The challenging Cairn o’Mount climb will feature during this year’s final stage.

In quotes

Cllr Jim Gifford, leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Months of preparation and planning have already gone into the final stage of this exciting race, and while the full route is still being agreed I am pleased to see it getting underway with a popular Aberdeenshire challenge.

“Stonehaven will provide a great backdrop for the start, and the Cairn o’Mount will test the mettle of everyone involved, I feel sure that will be a ‘high point’ of the entire race. The opportunities that this stage presents to encourage the people of Aberdeenshire onto bikes, to revive a love of cycling and encourage people outdoors is as important as the exposure that the event will attract. I look forward to the route announcement in the coming weeks.”

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “We are delighted that momentum is building within the region for the Tour of Britain, today’s announcement highlights our ambition and determination as a Council to bring the biggest, best and most vibrant events to Aberdeen and the north-east.

“Thousands got behind the Tour Series [races held in the city between 2017 and 2019] and we cannot wait to expand on that through various opportunities for schools, businesses, cycling enthusiasts and novices, leaving positive sporting, health and social impacts while building upon the region’s reputation as a must-see destination.

“We look forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain and showcasing the region.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, added: “Stonehaven will provide the perfect stage for the start of the final stage of this year’s Tour of Britain in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The Tour is part of a portfolio of world-class cycling events that take place in Scotland and EventScotland is delighted to have worked in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and SweetSpot to bring this great event to the region over the next two years.

“Events play a key role in our visitor economy and our long-term partnership with the Tour of Britain provides the ideal platform to showcase the more than 2,000 miles of National Cycle Network covering the country that visitors can come and enjoy.”

VisitAberdeenshire’s Chief Executive Chris Foy said: “The Tour of Britain is a prestigious event in the UK’s sporting calendar and we’re incredibly proud to be hosting a stage for the first time.

“We look forward to welcoming the cycling elite and passionate supporters along the majestic route when the event rolls into Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on Sunday 13 September, and to putting the region on the map for cycle tourists.”

About the 2020 Tour of Britain

The 2020 Tour of Britain will begin in Penzance, Cornwall for the first time, and so far confirmed as also including stages in Devon and Cumbria during the eight day race.  The overall finish in Aberdeen will be the first in Scotland since 2007 and the furthest north in the British Isles that the race has been.

In late 2019 race organiser SweetSpot began the search for a new title partner for the 2020 Tour of Britain following the conclusion of the three-year partnership with OVO Energy.

The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.