Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council, alongside TotalEnergies and Event Scotland, have today launched a final push for a weekend of cycling activities across the North East next month.
The biggest professional road cycling race in the UK will arrive in the area on 4th September, stage one starting in Aberdeen and finishing at the Glenshee ski centre.
This opening stage is sponsored by TotalEnergies and will mark the furthest north that the AJ Bell Tour of Britain has ever departed and is due to start from Union Street at 11am and is expected to finish at Glenshee between 3-4pm.
Before the race starts, the build-up kicks off with a fortnight of activity in Aberdeenshire, including Cycle Aberdeenshire which will see talks with pro cyclists, and activities to keep kids active and create a legacy.
Then the Getabout Aberdeen Cycling Festival will start on Saturday 3rd September, where the city centre will see a day of fun, free activities and cycle races, culminating in the Scottish Criterium Championships, with the best of Scottish cycling talent on display.
Activities confirmed will include a climbing wall, face painting and Dr Bike, as well as a chance to ride the city centre stage of Sunday’s Tour of Britain during one of the ‘free ride’ sessions throughout the day.
Aberdeen City Council Education Convener Councillor Martin Greig said: “It’s great that this stage of the Tour of Britain starts in Aberdeen. This important sporting event has a global audience so this is a splendid opportunity to promote our beautiful city and region. Hopefully the cyclists will have an enjoyable experience navigating the local environment.
“The competition gives a welcome focus on cycling not only as a sport but also as a vital form of everyday green transport. We will continue to try and ensure our city is increasingly cycle-friendly. TotalEnergies deserve sincere thanks for being a very generous sponsor.”
Aberdeen City Council Education vice convener Councillor Jessica Mennie said: “It’s great to be able to see the North East come together ahead of such an exciting weekend full of activities that the whole family can enjoy.”
Aberdeenshire Council Leader Cllr Mark Findlater said: “With less than a month to go, the excitement is starting to build towards the race in September. The audiences and visitors that this will bring will put Aberdeenshire on the map, and watching our region being broadcast internationally will be great to see. I am hopeful that communities make the most of the programme of events on offer right across the region.”
Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Jim Savege said: “I feel sure that the first stage of the 2022 Tour of Britain will be one that none of the participants nor the spectators will forget. This is the best possible showcase of our whole region and will help paint the picture of how much of a cycling destination the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire corner is becoming. Hopefully that can be the legacy of this race.”
David Jackson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “It is wonderful to have the Tour of Britain in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for the Grand Depart of this year’s event. The city and region have so much to offer both riders and spectators, from its spectacular coastline and beaches to its stunning granite buildings.
“Scotland is one of the best places in the world to experience events, and the Tour of Britain is part of our exciting portfolio of world-class cycling events taking place across the country as we build towards next year’s 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.”
The excitement continues Sunday 4th September where Aberdeen will host the Tour of Britain Grand Depart for the first time, which will see riders cycle the 180-kilometre (112-mile) route from the city centre to the Glenshee Ski Centre, south of Braemar.
ToBi the Tour of Britain Mascot also arrived back in the area today and was joined by Live Life Aberdeenshire’s mascot Archie as excitement for the cycling weekend builds and will be visiting city schools during his visit.
Aberdeen city businesses are also being encouraged to help in the build-up to the event by taking part in the Window Dressing Competition, where they are encouraged to show their support and dress their windows with a cycling theme or design.
The Getabout Aberdeen Cycling Festival will be part funded by Smarter Choices, Smarter Places, which is Paths for All’s programme to increase active and sustainable travel throughout Scotland and is grant-funded by Transport Scotland.
Graham McQueen, Manager of the Paths for All Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme said: The Getabout Aberdeen Cycling Festival highlights the dedication to and importance of cycling in Aberdeen. It’s a really positive event, getting people out, active and participating in the streets of Aberdeen. We want people to be inspired and to take home the message that cycling and walking is for everyone, to take steps to build active travel into your daily lives and improve your health, your wellbeing and your community.”
More information can be found at Aberdeen City Council’s website.