ONE of the region's biggest sporting events is returning to Peebles this autumn.

And a leading kidney charity is also set to benefit.

Despite protests in the past over the extent of disruption, the Tour O' The Borders closed road cycling event will take place in 2019.

And yet again more than 1,000 cyclists will descend on the region on September 1.

This year, event organisers Hillside Outside Ltd have teamed up with Kidney Research UK as their official charity partner.

It was the inspirational story of regular Tour O' The Borders participants, father and son duo Tim and Joseph McLean, that ignited the partnership.

The pair had to withdraw from the 2018 event due to Joseph, only 22, being diagnosed with end stage kidney failure.

Fortunately, father Tim was a suitable tissue match for Joseph, and both are now fully recovered from a kidney transplant operation.

Deep into their training for Tour O The Borders 2019, Tim said: “Joseph and I are hugely relieved to have the opportunity to return this year.

"This is all thanks to the fantastic work of the fabulous renal and transplant teams of the NHS of whom we will be eternally grateful.

"Much of their work is supported by research funded by Kidney Research UK who have the potential to improve the lives of the three million people with kidney disease in the UK."

Joseph and Tim are among the lucky ones who were a good match for an early transplant, an ode to their good health largely due to their love of cycling and participating in events such as Tour O The Borders.

“We have many things to be grateful for and good health is top of the list," Tim added.

“We look forward to meeting up with many old and new friends and a great day of cycling in September and hopefully raise some money for this very worthy cause.”

Hillside Outside's marketing manager, Harley Lothian, is delighted to announce the partnership.

She said: “Tim and Joseph reached out to us earlier this year and we were so inspired by their story that we wanted to do what we could to raise awareness of this fantastic charity, and ultimately educate people on the benefits that being physically fit can have in such a situation."

Tour O The Borders 2019, powered by Pirelli, takes place on September 1.

The event attracts more than 200 cyclists every year, who choose between routes of 88km or 120km.

Donations can be made at and on the day of the event.