HUGE crowds are again expected to flank the High Street in the hope of catching a glimpse of Olympic and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and sprint king Mark Cavendish as the Tour of Britain returns to Hawick in September.
Around 100 leading cyclists from all over the world will be riding up to the start line in Peebles on Sunday, September 15, passing through Hawick shortly after, before racing down to London via the Lake District, Snowdonia and Devon.
The day before, more than 100 amateur cyclists will get the chance to ride the route, which takes in Innerleithen, Selkirk, Hawick and Newcastleton.
Celebrating the tour’s 10 year anniversary, organisers have included a first-ever stage through the heart of the Lake District, tackling the famous Honister Pass, and a time-trial over the traditional 10-mile distance set in Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool.
Borders Cycles proprietor Julian Cram told the Hawick News this week: “The tour has been here three or four years running now. It’s very good for the tour to come through Hawick, as it shows that the town is a great place to ride.
“The fact they choose to come through our town really emphasises what good riding we’ve got.
“It brings in a lot of tourism, and not just that weekend but overall it should raise the profile of the area and attract more cyclists.
“It all ties in with the general initiative to try and develop the Borders as not just a mountain-biking destination but a cycling destination as a whole.”
Provost Ron Smith echoed Mr Cram’s comments, “I welcome this news that the tour will again pass through Hawick,” he said.
“It created much interest on the last occasion and with the strength of cycling in the town and the Borders, I can see a spin-off being generated for local children, families and businesses.”
The race will also visit Dumfries and Galloway, Stoke-on-Trent and Surrey, culminating eight days later in the heart of London where the riders will complete 10 circuits around the city before finishing on Whitehall.