Hundreds lined the streets of Hawick earlier this afternoon to give a real Teri welcome to the riders taking part in the third stage of the Aviva Tour of Britain.
As some of the world’s best professional cyclists, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, who triumphed in his home Tour in 2013, and legendary sprinter Mark Cavendish of the Etixx-QuickStep outfit, powered their way through the Scottish Borders leg of the race, they were given a huge cheer from hundreds of flag-waving school pupils and teachers who had gathered at vantage points in the town including Weensland Road, High Street, Tower Knowe and Galalaw.
Starting at Cockermouth in Cumbria at 10.15 this morning, the riders headed along the Cumbrian coastline through Carlisle and onto Dumfries and Galloway before entering the Borders at Newcastleton, making for Bonchester Bridge and Hawick itself where enthusiastic crowds savoured the anticipation and excitement of big-time cycle racing.
The youngsters were near fever pitch following a dazzling procession of police motorbikes complete with flashing lights and sirens, as well as race marshalls, and the various support cars colourfully emblazoned with team names.
The cyclists hit Hawick in two groups with the breakaway riders some four or five minutes ahead of the peleton. Once through the town, the route took competitors to Selkirk, Tweedbank and Melrose where equally enthusiastic crowds gathered in support ahead of the eagerly anticipated finish at Floors Castle in Kelso.
Stage four begins in Edinburgh tomorrow (Wednesday), and will take in the most spectacular areas of Northumberland including Wooler, Alnwick and Warkworth before the finish in Blyth.