Stonehaven start for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire stage of the Tour of Britain

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


Sunday 13 September will see the world’s top teams and riders starting in Stonehaven and racing through Aberdeenshire to a finish in the heart of Aberdeen city centre, with organisers also confirming that the stage will feature the famous Cairn o’Mount climb, a legendary three-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 10%.


The news was announced on Thursday 27 February, marking 200 days to go until the world’s top riders and teams race into Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this September.


Cllr Jim Gifford is leader of Aberdeenshire Council. He said: “Months of preparation and planning have already gone into the final stage of this exciting race, and whilst 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 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 whilst 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, said: “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 is the ideal platform to showcase the many wonderful regions, including Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, that make up the more than 2,000 miles of National Cycle Network covering the country that visitors can come and enjoy.”


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.


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


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.


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.”


Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The Tour of Britain is a world class cycling event which will showcase our wonderful city centre and surrounding region on a fantastic platform.  


“The exciting announcement today of the route starting point is fantastic. Events of this scale, which will undoubtedly draw in huge crowds, are of vital importance to the city. This will be a great opportunity for people from across the country and beyond to visit this great city of Aberdeen and the wider splendour of the north-east. 


“Aberdeen has truly become that renaissance city, what with the combination of some truly inspiring capital investments such as P & J Live and the Aberdeen Art Gallery, along with our ever-growing cultural offering, the city has a lot to be proud of and will be a great host.”

 About the Tour of Britain

Relaunched in 2004 after a five-year absence from the calendar, the Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, held annually across eight days in September.


The free-to-watch sporting spectacular features Olympic, world and Tour de France champions, and attracts a roadside audience of over 1.5m spectators. Live coverage of the race is shown daily in the UK on ITV4 and Eurosport, in addition to around the world.


The Tour of Britain is part of the new for 2020 UCI ProSeries, making it one of the most prestigious sporting events in the sport’s global calendar.