GLASGOW has been chosen to host another sporting event after the first stage route for a major cycling race was unveiled.

The city has been chosen to hold the beginning of the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, with hundreds of elite riders from across the world set to be involved.

Held on Saturday, September 7, this will be the first time since 2016 that Glasgow has been included in the nationwide route.

Your say: Glaswegians 'proud' as city chosen to host top cycling event

Kicking off in George Square, the race will snake its way around the city before heading south and finishing in an as-yet-unnamed town in Dumfries and Galloway.

Organisers and partners, including Glasgow Life, have expressed their excitement at bring the event to the city.

Councillor David McDonald, depute leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow Life, said: “When the Tour of Britain Grand Depart was last hosted by Glasgow in 2016, thousands of people lined the city streets to see elite riders and teams in action as they set off on the first stage of the competition. I’m sure this year will be no different.

“Glasgow has a proud sporting history – and was recently announced as one of the top five sporting cities in the world. I can’t think of a better place to begin such an iconic race than the world-renowned George Square in the heart of our city.

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“The Tour of Britain presents cycling fans with an unparalleled opportunity to see their favourite teams and riders take to the roads through their very own city, and I know the people of Glasgow are very excited to see this event in just a few months.”

The 2019 event will mark the sixth occasion that Glasgow has hosted the modern edition of the Tour of Britain and is another in a series of prominent races to take place in the city.

On that occasion, the route travelled from Glasgow south and east into Ayrshire, past Kilmarnock and Ayr before heading southwest towards Castle Douglas.

However, route planners have confirmed that 2019's race stage will have a different destination - one which has never been used in the Tour of Britain before.

British Cycling chief executive, Julie Harrington, said: “This announcement is a further feather in the cap for Scotland, which has consistently proved itself to be a fantastic host for some of cycling’s biggest events in recent years.

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"The newly-formed Women’s Tour of Scotland, the forthcoming UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow and, of course, the 2023 World Championships all demonstrate the standing with in which Scotland is held in the cycling world.

“We share with all of our event partners a determination that these events should not only showcase the very best of cycling at elite level, but provide necessary inspiration for people across Scotland and Great Britain to get out on their bikes. We look forward to what I’m sure will be a wonderful opening stage, the legacy of which will be felt long after the Tour departs.”

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The stage will be jointly hosted by EventScotland, Glasgow Life and Dumfries and Galloway Council, with economic benefits and a boost in tourism expected as a result of the event.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep.

Top names from the sport, such as Bradaley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, and other road racers have all taken part in the event before, with similar competitors expected later this year to draw in crowds.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s rirector of events, said: “Events play a vital role in our visitor economy and the OVO Energy Tour of Britain is part of an exciting calendar of cycling events, taking place across Scotland this summer.

"With more than 2,000 miles of the National Cycle Network covering the country, the event provides the perfect stage to showcase this to an international audience of cycling enthusiasts.

“As a long-term partner, EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of the Tour of Britain in 2019.

"The successful hosting of this annual event has helped establish Scotland as a world leading sports destination.”

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The 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain will run over eight stages.

Full details of the competition are set to be released at the event's official national launch on Wednesday, May 29 with stage one, which starts in Glasgow, will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2019.