Aug 22 2012 By Andrew McNair
OLYMPIC gold medalist and Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins will be racing into Dumfries in just three weeks time.
After a month off to recover from his various successes, the 32-year-old has chosen to return to action in the Tour of Britain meaning he will roll into town with the rest of the fast-moving cycling peloton on September 11.
Wiggins became the first ever British winner of the famous three week French stage race in July before following it up with a gold medal in the time-trial at the London Olympics.
He will be joined in Dumfries by Sky teammate and world road race champion Mark Cavendish, who will be aiming to win in Dumfries for a second year in a row as the third stage ends on the Whitesands.
The news has delighted council bosses who have fought hard to keep the race coming back to Dumfries and Galloway.
Ian Barr, the councils economic development officer, said: Its a massive sports story for the region which is now a social story thanks to Bradleys Olympic gold medal.
Wiggins was inspirational in being the first British Tour De France winner and will be a real crowd pleaser as well as draw even more spectators to the race.
Its free to watch and everyone is invited.
Race director Mike Bennett was just as excited: To have the reigning Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial Champion and the current World Champion competing in The Tour of Britain is a dream for us.
That both riders are British and such great champions means that there is now an unprecedented interest in the event.
Stage three of the week-long race, gets under way in the Borders, starting at Jedburgh, before the 164km stage winds its way into the region through Moffat and Lochmaben along the A709 in to Dumfries.
It then jumps out the other side of town to do a loop of New Abbey and Beeswing and back into town along the A711 before the finish takes place once again on the Whitesands.
Mr Barr added: Its a great chance to promote the region on ITV 4.
There were 450,000 people watching the daily highlights packages of last years race so that is 450,000 seeing Dumfries. Its great value for money for what we put into the event.
Another top cyclist confirmed for the race includes 2008 Beijing Olympic Road Race Champion Samuel Sanchez who will lead Spanish team Euskaltel Euskadi.