Tour of Britain stage for Edinburgh

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City cycling fans will have a chance to witness some of the world’s leading riders when Edinburgh hosts the departure of a stage in the Friends Life Tour of Britain on September 8.

The Capital is the starting point for stage four of the eight-day event, which starts in Wales and has its climax in London.

Scotland will feature twice, with the haul from Cockermouth to Floors Castle coming the day before the leg that takes the riders from Edinburgh to Blyth in Northumberland.

After setting out in Holyrood Park, the route will pass through the centre of Edinburgh before heading to Musselburgh, where the racing will start, then visiting Duns and Coldstream before crossing into England for the finish in Blyth. This will be the race’s first visit to the city since 2004 and could lead to riders such as Bradley Wiggins cycling Edinburgh’s streets.

The 20 competing squads will be revealed in the summer but are likely to include Team Raleigh, which could mean an appearance on home soil for local rider Evan Oliphant.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s new Festivals and Events Champion, said: “This is going to be a must-see event for both local people and visitors to the city.”