SCOTTISH cycling fans can look forward to seeing Sir Bradley Wiggins back in action on the road after race organisers confirmed he will be on the start line for the Aviva Tour of Britain, which begins on Sunday.
The 2012 Tour de France champion returns to the race he won in 2013, despite his focus switching from the road to the track as the Rio Olympics approach. The 35-year-old is bidding for a fifth Olympic gold next summer and a British record eighth medal in all.
Wiggins, who was third in the Tour of Britain in 2014, will lead his eponymous team in their first appearance in the race, which begins in Beaumaris, North Wales, on Sunday and finishes in London a week later.
The Tour will see two separate days of action in Scotland through the Borders, East Lothian and Edinburgh.
Stage three on Tuesday will start in Cockermouth, Cumbria, but will cross the border at Gretna and head through Dumfries and Galloway, Hawick, Selkirk and Melrose before finishing at Floors Castle in Kelso.
The following day the race will resume in Edinburgh and pass through Musselburgh, East Lothian, Duns and Coldstream before crossing back into England and finishing in Blyth, Northumberland.
Along with Wiggins, Taylor Phinney of the BMC Racing Team has also confirmed his participation. The American was fourth in the Olympic road race in 2012 on his last appearance on British roads.
The duo head the latest riders to be confirmed for the Tour, which also includes the provisional line-ups for the Tinkoff Saxo and Cult Energy Pro Cycling teams.
Tinkoff Saxo will be led by Croatian Robert Kiserlovski, who has twice finished in the top ten overall of the Giro d’Italia, with a line-up that also includes Giro stage winner Chris Anker Sorensen.
The Cult Energy Pro Cycling team will make their debut in the race, with a strong line-up that includes former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Linus Gerdemann and 2005 British road race champion Russ Downing.
Team Raleigh GAC will be led by this year’s British Cycling Elite Road Series Champion Steve Lampier, joined by Evan Oliphant, who will ride on home roads in East Lothian during stage four.
Further British interest comes in the An Post Chain Reaction line-up led by Josh Edmondson, who won the Ronde de l’Oise stage race in France earlier this summer.
Among the riders previously confirmed for the Tour are former winners Dylan Van Baarle (2014) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (2009) and former stage winners Mark Cavendish, Gerald Ciolek and Andre Greipel, plus three-time World Cyclo-Cross champion Zdenek Stybar.