Milngavie cycling duo Katie Archibald and Anna Shackley will literally be on home ground in this week’s inaugural Women’s Tour of Sotland.
The pair are part of the six-rider Scotland team for the UCI level race which gets under way in Dundee on Friday and finishes in Edinburgh on Sunday.
But it’s the middle of the three races stages on Saturday which will see the pair roared on by home crowds with the 139.4km route from Glasgow to Perth taking the peloton along the familiar roads around Milngavie.
Archibald and Shackley are very much at opposite ends of the cycling spectrum. Katie, of course, is a household name in Scotland and beyond with a host of Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medals in her cabinet.
In contrast Anna, still a junior rider, is the youngest member of the team and enjoying a stellar breakthrough year on the track and road.
Currently on the Scottish Cycling performance development programme, she has enjoyed a brilliant 2019 with a win in the first round of the HSBC UK British Junior Women’s Road Series, 11th overall and first junior at the Tour of the Reservoir and has claimed several Scottish National Junior Track titles.
What they share, however, is the thrill of the first major international women’s race on Scottish soil.
Katie, an enthusiastic supporter of the Women’s Tour of Scotland since it was first announced, said: “How special to compete in a UCI road race at home.
“I’ll be with team-mates I know well, and in Scottish kit which is always something to treasure. The racing will be hard but I can’t wait to lay down our best for home crowds.”
The three-stage Women’s Tour of Scotland will feature 16 teams and will be contested by many of the top women’s teams in the world – plus the cream of Great Britain and Scotland’s female cycling talent.
The first stage is on Friday and will take the riders on a 103-kilometre route from Dundee to Dunfermline.
Saturday’s second stage will start in Glasgow city centre and end just over 139kms later in Perth, while Sunday’s 118km third stage starts and finishes in Edinburgh and takes the peloton through the Scottish borders. The race is expected to attract around 100,000 spectators in total.