Aberdeenshire geared up for historic Tour of Britain cycling event in 2020

The Tour of Britain reaches Kirkcudbright in the 2019 staging of the event
The Tour of Britain reaches Kirkcudbright in the 2019 staging of the event

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have agreed a deal to host the final stage of the Tour of Britain in 2020 and the Grand Depart in 2021.

The Tour of Britain will build on the success of the Tour Series cycle races which took place in Aberdeen City over the past three years, attracting tens of thousands of spectators and bringing economic benefits to the region.

The councils worked in partnership with EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, to secure the event, with the organisation set to continue its long-term support of the Tour in 2020 and 2021.

The Tour is the UK’s biggest and most prestigious cycle race, attracting the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and world champions, and Tour de France winners, to compete over eight days each September. It is a professional men’s cycle race consisting of eight stages of racing across the UK, with different routes showcasing the best of British towns, cities and countryside.

Full live coverage and highlights are shown on ITV4, attracting an audience of around 3.2 million.

The details of the 2020 route in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be confirmed in due course with event organisers SweetSpot, but is likely to be around 200km in length, taking in large parts of Aberdeenshire, before finishing in the City Centre.

Cllr Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “Securing the Tour of Britain is a sign of our ambition and determination as a council to bring the biggest, best and most vibrant events to Aberdeen and the north-east. I have no doubt it will be a huge attraction to local audiences as well as bringing in visitors from throughout Britain and across the world.”

Cllr Jim Gifford, leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning landscapes of our region to a global audience, attracting spectators both locally and from afar to enjoy world-class cycling and to support our economy through hotel stays, or spending money in local shops and businesses.

“I also hope that the residents and business community of the north-east get involved, either as spectators, through sponsorship or by getting involved in one of the many supporting events that we expect to take place during the event.

“This will be a truly celebratory event that will put the region firmly on the map as a destination for world class sporting events, tourism and business.”

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “Following the success of the Tour Series’ visits there since 2017, we’re delighted that the final stage of next year’s Tour of Britain will be heading to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. 

“With its mix of stunning landscapes, historic architecture, passionate fans and gruelling terrain it promises to be a spectacular finale to the UK’s biggest bike race.

“It’s going to be a historic stage: the modern edition of the Tour has never been so far north before.”