Cycle Aberdeenshire to bring the Tour of Britain experience to communities

With nine weeks until some of the world’s top cyclists descend upon the North East of Scotland to compete in the Tour of Britain 2022, Aberdeenshire Council and Live Life Aberdeenshire have launched “Cycle Aberdeenshire”, a two-week programme of events that will provide local communities with a range of options and activities during the build-up to Stage 1 on September 4 from Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Centre.

With the extensive school support programme already in place, “Cycle Aberdeenshire” will now bring together several high-profile events and activity opportunities in the build-up to the opening stage, ensuring that people of all ages can get involved ahead of the numerous spectating opportunities that will be available when the race gets underway.

The headline event, “Bike Blethers,” at Inverurie Town Hall on Thursday, September 1 will showcase the achievements and stories of Para-Cycling husband and wife Neil Fachie OBE and Lora Fachie OBE, with the duo appearing on behalf of the Archie Foundation and sharing their story of sporting success across the Paralympics, World Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. With free tickets being made available for this event, it promises to be a truly inspiring evening and a must-see event ahead of the opening stage three days later. Tickets are available from www.livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk/sport-and-physical-activity/cycle-aberdeenshire/

Live Life Aberdeenshire will be offering themed indoor cycling classes at certain facilities, where participants will be able to exercise whilst also enjoying a commentary that reflects the stage one route, offering an imaginative journey through Inverurie, Alford, Ballater and Braemar and the famous climbs along the route.

Neil Fachie OBE and Lora Fachie OBE and inset: Finn Crockett of Team Ribble Weldtite and Team Scotland.

Active Travel also features prominently with an offer of free access to the Macduff Marine Aquarium over the race weekend of 3rd & 4th of September for those who use their bicycles to travel to the facility and the Tour of Britain will also feature on Live Life Aberdeenshire’s “Live Life @ Home” online resource with information and online activities available.

With the ongoing growth of women’s cycling nationally and locally, Scottish Cycling’s Breeze Ride programme will deliver two taster sessions for women of all ages in safe and traffic-free locations in Alford and Turriff, events to which mums and daughters are also being encouraged to sign up for.

The 2022 Stage 1 route visits a slightly more urban route than in 2021 and that has allowed two prominent partner events to take place in Inverurie and Alford.

Inverurie Events will be promoting a cycling-themed morning of activities in Inverurie town centre, ahead of what will be the spectacular sight of the peloton racing through the heart of the Garioch and Inverurie Town Hall.

The Grampian Transport Museum in Alford, located in the heart of one of many Donside and Deeside villages, preparing for the carnival of colour and speed that will arrive, is hosting a “Cycle Aberdeenshire” family event that will allow access to cycling sessions on their closed-circuit track.

In addition to the museum’s own attractions, Live Life Aberdeenshire’s outdoor activities will also be available, all ahead of the race passing to the rear of the museum site on its way to Glenshee.

Top Scottish cyclist Finn Crockett, who races for Team Ribble Weldtite has voiced his support for the additional programme ahead of his planned participation in this year’s eight-stage event.

Speaking ahead of his pending appearance for Team Scotland at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, he added: “I’ve raced and won races many times in Aberdeenshire and it's always something I look forward to, with the varied roads and amazing landscapes.

"I’m passionate about the development of cycling in Scotland and I think it’s fantastic to see the “Cycle Aberdeenshire” programme bringing our sport to all ages and parts of the local community. I’m really excited about the crowds we will ride past on our way to Glenshee, what a finish location that is going to be.”

Councillor Mark Findlater, Aberdeenshire Council Leader, said: “With last year’s visit of the Tour of Britain being limited by the level of community events that could be staged at that time, it is so refreshing and genuinely positive to see “Cycle Aberdeenshire” bringing such a comprehensive programme of activities to not only the race route but to various parts of the authority.

"I’m delighted to see that when combined with the programme for schools, “Cycle Aberdeenshire” will ensure that residents of all ages will be able to engage with this year’s race, whether that is spectating on the roadside, participating at one of the local events or simply at home using the online resources or enjoying the extensive television coverage.”

Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Jim Savege enthusiastically welcomed the new programme: “The Tour of Britain will showcase Aberdeenshire to a worldwide audience in over 150 countries and we are seeing this as a fantastic opportunity to attract cyclists and non-cyclists to see Aberdeenshire as a place on their must-visit list.

"This two-week programme has managed to capture our communities as a whole, from schools to care homes and cycling clubs to our sports centres and will provide an exciting build-up to Stage 1 and the stunning finish at Glenshee."

Information about all events and activities can be found at: www.livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk/sport-and-physical-activity/cycle-aberdeenshire/