ONE of the most successful cyclists in the history of the Tour de France is set to pass through East Lothian next month.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain gets under way on September 3, with more than 100 competitors setting off from Edinburgh.

The first stage will make its way through Musselburgh, Prestonpans, Port Seton and Longniddry along the coast before turning into the heart of East Lothian.

Cyclists will race through Haddington, Pencaitland, East Saltoun and Gifford before then heading into the Scottish Borders.

Among those taking to the start line is Mark Cavendish.

The 32-year-old has won 30 stages at the Tour de France, second only to Belgium’s Eddy Merckx, and is one of the big names taking part in the event.

Twenty teams have been announced, with a potential line-up of impressive riders including Geraint Thomas, Elia Viviani, Alexander Kristoff and Tony Martin.

Mick Bennett, race director, said: “We are delighted with this year’s line-up of teams and with riders of the calibre of Geraint Thomas, Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff coming out to say they will be targeting the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, this bodes for a fantastic spectacle for fans at the roadside and watching at home on television.

“The combination of teams from all three levels of the sport, plus the presence of a Great Britain national team and the continuation of six-man teams, will continue to make for open and aggressive racing.

“While our four domestic UCI Continental squads have worked hard to qualify for their national tour and to have the opportunity to race against the world’s best in front of their home support.”

A full list of the 120 riders is expected to be announced by the end of the month, ahead of the race getting under way.

Provost John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesman for tourism and economic development, was looking forward to the race, which finishes in Cardiff on September 10.

He added: “It is another sign of attracting nationally important events.

“[There was] the [recent Edinburgh] Ironman – I know it was the first time and a bit of an experiment, but all these things put East Lothian on the map.

“It is great to see Haddington at the centre of that.

“The Tour of Britain sounds really exciting.”