When Sunday September 15
To Drumlanrig Castle
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A late September stage up in Scotland may hardly seem the most inviting prospect for a peloton used to extremely hot days riding on the continent, but the likely cold weather is compensated for by the gorgeous rural scenery of the Southern Uplands.
Beginning in Peebles – as the 2011 edition did – the route takes the riders south until they reach the English border, from where they bend westwards, travelling through the former stage finish town of Dumfries before reaching Drumlanrig Castle.
We may be in Scotland but we’re far from the mountainous highlands, so the peloton will only have to tackle a series of lesser hills; Mark Cavendish has won in this region the last two years running and, by the looks of this route, will fancy his chances of doing so again. He’ll need to be wary of a cattle grid in the final kilometre, mind.
The finish in Drumlanrig promises to be a grand spectacle. The seventeenth-century castle possesses an unusual pink colour due to the sandstone it was built with, and is situated in the beautiful Queensberry Estate. Any art connoisseurs in the peloton can pop in to see its collection of paintings, which features a Rembrandt among others.
0km START: High Street, Peebles 10:30
42.2km KoM: Black Castle Hill (3) 11:45
48.6km Sprint: Hawick 11:54
65.4km KoM: Lime Kiln Edge (2) 12:18
81.5km Sprint: Newcastleton 12:41
164.3km KoM: Dunscore (3) 14:39
194.2km Sprint: Drumlanrig Castle 15:22
209.9km FINISH: Drumlanrig Castle 15:44
Best place to watch
Drumlanrig Castle or ITV4 9-10pm (highlights)