Borders bidding to host Tour de France in 2017

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The Borders could host part of the Tour de France in 2017 under proposals to bring the world’s most famous cycling event to the region.

The proposal would involve Edinburgh staging the Tour prologue – a short time-trial – in five years’ time. Further stages could then be held in the Scottish Borders and England.

The bid is being backed by EventScotland, the Scottish government, British Cycling and UK Sport with the overall aim of “keeping the Tour in the UK for as long as possible”.

The plan to host stages in Scotland first surfaced last year, but more detail has now emerged. It is understood Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) were impressed by Edinburgh on a visit and are considering the proposal, which will now be planned in more detail.

Berwickshire MSP John Lamont said: “The Tour de France is the most prestigious cycling event in the world and it would be a great achievement to bring part of it to the Borders.

“The Tour prologue is what starts the event each year and I can think of no better place to do it than on our local roads.

“Not only would it provide great publicity for the Scottish Borders, but it would also provide a much needed economic boost as fans of the Tour come and visit us to see the time trials.

“I and many others will be wishing the bid every success.”