Stonehaven will play host to the start of the final stage of the Tour of Britain in September.
The Tour’s final stage is to be hosted jointly by Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on Sunday, September 13, while – in 2021 – the region will host the event’s opening grand depart.
Today is 200 days to go until the world’s top riders descend on the north-east.
The route this year will also feature the Cairn o’ Mount climb – a legendary three-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 10%.
Cllr Jim Gifford, leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Months of preparation and planning have already gone into the final stage of this exciting race, and whilst the full route is still being agreed I am pleased to see it getting under way with a popular Aberdeenshire challenge.
“Stonehaven will provide a great backdrop for the start, and the Cairn o’Mount will test the mettle of everyone involved, I feel sure that will be a ‘high point’ of the entire race.
“The opportunities that this stage presents to encourage the people of Aberdeenshire onto bikes, to revive a love of cycling and encourage people outdoors is as important as the exposure that the event will attract.
“I look forward to the route announcement in the coming weeks.”
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “We are delighted that momentum is building within the region for the Tour of Britain, today’s announcement highlights our ambition and determination as a council to bring the biggest, best and most vibrant events to Aberdeen and the north-east.
“Thousands got behind the Tour Series and we cannot wait to expand on that through various opportunities for schools, businesses, cycling enthusiasts and novices, leaving positive sporting, health and social impacts whilst building upon the region’s reputation as a must-see destination.
“We look forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain and showcasing the region.”
The full route of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire stage of the Tour of Britain will be announced in the spring at the national launch of the 2020 race.
The overall finish in Aberdeen will be the first in Scotland since 2007 and the furthest north in the British Isles that the race has been.
The 2020 Tour of Britain will begin in Penzance, Cornwall for the first time, and so far confirmed as also including stages in Devon and Cumbria during the eight day race.