Tour of Britain begins with Glasgow to Castle Douglas stage – BBC News

Image copyright Mark Runnacles Image caption Elia Viviani won the stage the last time the Tour of Britain was in Scotland

Cycling starrings – including eight medallists from the Rio Olympics – are set to race from Glasgow to Castle Douglas as the Tour of Britain begins.

The opening stage of the week-long event is the only one in Scotland.

The Grand Depart will see riders roll out of Glasgow’s George Square before doing a circuit of the city.

They will then head south taking in Kilmarnock, Auchinleck, Cumnock and Dalmellington before finishing in Castle Douglas about 15:30.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the route with the race also being broadcasted live.

But what does the event have in store?

Best in the business

Image copyright PA Image caption Sir Bradley Wiggins will trade Rio for the west of Scotland this weekend

The Tour of Britain has grown in stature in recent years and now attracts some of the biggest names in the sport.

Olympic medallists Mark Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Elia Viviani, Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Tom Dumoulin are all among the line-up.

Former world hour record holder Rohan Dennis and German sprinter Andre Greipel, nicknamed The Gorilla, are other high profile riders taking part.

Building a legacy

Image copyright Thinkstock

Sports bodies hope that staging important events can also help to create the stars of the future or simply encourage people to get more exercise.

Vicky Strange, head of developing at Cycling Scotland, said: “To have such a big event now coming to Scotland for its first stage is just fantastic.

“The Tour of Britain is one of the biggest events on the calendar – it has really gained in profile.

“So to have the big names coming to Scotland and having these people – household names – right there on your doorstep and we can all get the chance to go and assure them up close, I think is hugely inspirational for us.”

Past winners of the Tour of Britain’s previous visits to Scotland are 😛 TAGEND 2005 – Nick Nuyens( Bel) Glasgow to Castle Douglas 2006 – Martin Pedersen( Den) Glasgow to Castle Douglas 2007 – Paul Manning( GB) Dumfries to Glasgow 2008 – Edvald Boasson Hagen( Nor) Glasgow to Drumlanrig 2009 – Edvald Boasson Hagen( Nor) Peebles to Gretna 2011 – Mark Cavendish( GB) Peebles to Dumfries 2012 – Mark Cavendish( GB) Jedburgh to Dumfries 2013 – Elia Viviani( Ita) Peebles to Drumlanrig Image caption Large crowds are expected to gather at the finish as they did in Dumfries at a previous edition Image caption Mark Cavendish cemented his reputation as one of the world’s top sprinters at this year’s Tour de France

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