A host of Scottish stars from the worlds of screen, sport and politics have thrown their support behind The Prostate Cancer Charity's Tour Ride in Scotland.
Football legend Kenny Dalglish, former Liberal Party leader and Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Lord Steel, former Taggart co-stars, John Michie and Blythe Duff, and Scottish rugby internationalist Chris Cusiter are urging cyclists throughout Scotland to sign up for the Tour Ride cycling event, which is taking place between Peebles and Dumfries on Sunday 4 September.
The exciting and challenging cycling event offers people the chance to ride an official stage of the Tour of Britain whilst raising funds to fight the most common cancer in men in the UK.
Scotland's most capped player and joint record international goal scorer, Kenny Dalglish MBE, has thrown his support behind the Tour Ride. 'King Kenny', who has been inducted to both the Scottish and English Football Hall of Fame and named as the greatest striker of any nationality to have graced British football in the post war era, said: "Well done, and the best of luck, to everyone who is signing up for The Prostate Cancer Charity's Scottish tour ride. Cycling's a great way to take exercise at any age, and the Borders are a great place to ride for such a good cause."
Lord David Steel, a committed supporter of the Charity, who was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2001, added: "I am delighted that The Prostate Cancer Charity's Tour Rides are coming to Scotland for the first time this year. It promises to be a really exciting event and I encourage all cyclists to get on their bikes and raise money for such an important cause. Prostate cancer is a lot more common than people may think, and it's great to see events like this coming to Scotland to help us raise awareness of the disease."
John Michie, who made his name in Taggart as DI Robbie Ross, and is currently playing Karl Munro in Coronation Street, said: "The Prostate Cancer Charity is a great cause and this Tour Ride is a great way of putting the focus on health. You'll have to be fit to tackle this borders route, but what an achievement when you complete the challenge. My best wishes to everyone who signs up."
Blythe Duff, who starred alongside John Michie in Taggart as Jackie Reid said: "The Scottish Tour Ride is a fantastic route - I quite envy the riders the scenery, fresh air and challenge, although I don't envy them some of the hills! Completing a 170 or even a 70km ride will be quite a feat, but I'd say go for it! What a sense of satisfaction when you cross that finish line, especially knowing you're supporting The Prostate Cancer Charity's vital work as well."
Glasgow Warriors, Scotland and British & Irish Lions star Chris Cusiter - who lost his father Stan to prostate cancer last year - said: "I would strongly encourage people all across the country to get right behind this excellent event. It will be a great day out in its own right, but those taking part will also know they are doing their bit to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer - the most common cancer in men in Scotland."
For the first time, cyclists in The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride will have the opportunity to take on the challenge of the Scottish stage of The Tour of Britain, riding through the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, replicating the 170 kilometre opening stage of The Tour in the Pro Ride. The shorter Challenge Ride takes place over the final 70 kilometres of the stage over rolling roads in Dumfries and Galloway to give a taste of how the opening day of The Tour of Britain will pan out.
The Charity launched the events three years ago, and they have gone from strength to strength. More than 4,500 people took to two wheels last year, raising over £500,000 in doing so.
Speaking about the upcoming Scotland Tour Ride, Katie Robbins, Tour of Britain Project Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity, says: "We are excited about bringing the Tour Ride to Scotland for the first time and I hope that people with an interest in cycling will get on their bikes to raise awareness of prostate cancer and funds for the Charity.
"Over the past three years, The Prostate Cancer Charity has developed strong links with professional and amateur cyclists through our partnership with The Tour of Britain which have been invaluable in helping us to get many more people thinking about the disease."