THE Borders will host the opening stage of this year’s Tour of Britain Men.

The 20th edition of the modern race gets under way in Kelso on Tuesday, September 3.

Details of the exact route that the world’s top professional cyclists will follow is to be announced in the coming weeks. 

But it will include a passage of the finish line in Kelso, giving spectators a third chance to see the action in the free-to-attend event, as well as popular climbs at Scott’s View and in the Eildon Hills. 

The south of Scotland was recognised in 2023 as being a UCI Bike Region, due to the commitment to not just elite cycling but cycling for all.

It will be the 10th time in 15 years that the area has held a stage start or finish of the Tour of Britain. 

Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community and business development, said: “On the back of hosting events as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, I am delighted that we have been able to work with British Cycling to bring some of the world’s top cyclists back to the Borders for the Tour of Britain. 

“This will be yet another opportunity for us to showcase the region to a worldwide television audience and drive significant economic benefits to Kelso and the wider area. 

“We will be working closely with British Cycling and our partners over the coming months to prepare for the event, including engaging with the Kelso community to ensure that together we maximise the benefits for everyone.” 

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland director of events, said: “EventScotland is proud to be supporting the return of the Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Men to Scotland where Kelso and the Scottish Borders will provide the perfect stage for the opening stage of this year’s race. 

“Building on the success of previous editions of the Tour of Britain and last year’s highly successful inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships, this year’s event will reinforce the country’s reputation as a world leading cycling destination. With our wide range of trails, tracks and routes to explore, Scotland is made for cycling.”

British Cycling events managing director Jonathan Day added: “We’re delighted to be bringing top-level racing and the joy of cycling to communities across the country in September, with six stages to showcase the very best of Britain’s character and terrain.

“We’re enormously thankful to the local partners who are supporting the delivery of this year’s race, as we look to build on the momentum of June’s successful Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women. I’ve no doubt that their communities will be out in force to welcome the riders, and make it another memorable week of racing to cap off a huge summer of cycling.” 

Past stage winners on Kelso’s cobbled market square are Caleb Ewan (2017) and Matteo Trentin (2019), the latter having held off a memorable last-ditch attack by Britain’s Alex Dowsett, while in 2015 Italian sprinter Elia Viviani took a win at nearby Floors Castle. 

The Borders has been a regular host of the Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Men since 2011, with full stages of the race having taken place in 2019 and 2022. 

The latter was the most recent visit to the area, with Dutchman Cees Bol winning a stage from Hawick to Duns in September 2022. 

Following the Borders stage, the tour heads to the Tees Valley, south Yorkshire, and west Northamptonshire, before concluding in Suffolk on Sunday, September 8.