Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 17:45 UK

Tour delivers Gretna Green finale

Tour of Britain
A total of 16 different teams will take part in the Tour of Britain

The full route of the Scottish stage of the Tour of Britain has been announced by First Minister Alex Salmond.

Some 96 riders from 16 different teams will set out from Peebles in the Scottish Borders to Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway on 14 September.

The stage - which covers more than 150km (93.2 miles) - will also take in Melrose, Langholm and Newcastleton.

Mr Salmond said the route would provide a "stunning backdrop for competitors and spectators alike".

The south of Scotland leg is the third stage of the race which runs from 12 to 19 September.

The Tour of Britain has been a breeding ground for many top racers - including Mark Cavendish, who recently won six stages in the Tour de France.

Tourism boost

Mr Salmond said the Scottish stage would prove an "exciting sporting event" in "some spectacular scenery".

Dumfries and Galloway has hosted the event a number of times in recent years but this is the first time it will visit the Borders.

Tour of Britain commercial director Hugh Roberts said it was an "exciting prospect" for the race.

"Stage three from Peebles to Gretna Green will be a challenging one for the riders and at the same time an exciting one for all the spectators," he said.

"To be able to show what Scotland has to offer to the huge cycling fan base of Western Europe as a boost to cycling tourism in the region is an especially exciting prospect."

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