A MAIDEN Scottish cycling tour for women that will come to Dunfermline has been declared an inspiration by a West Fife pedal star.

Eileen Roe, from High Valleyfield, believes that youngsters will become motivated to climb onto the saddle following the official launch of the first Women's Tour of Scotland last week.

The three-day event, which also has the backing of Olympian, Commonwealth Games, World and multiple-European champion Katie Archibald, will consist of three stages, held over three days, over 350 kilometres from August 9-11.

Stage one of the tour – which organisers intend to become a long-term fixture in the Scottish cycling calendar – will start in Dundee and, after crossing the Tay Road Bridge, will take riders on a 103km route through Fife to its finish at Pittencrieff Park.

Three-time Commonwealth Games rider Roe, 29, began racing at the age of 10 on a grass track at Highland Games and has gone on to enjoy a highly successful career in the sport.

As well as riding for Team Scotland at Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014 and the Gold Coast last year, she is a two-time former winner of the British National Circuit Race Championships, represented Great Britain at the 2016 World Road Race Championships, and became the most successful individual rider in the history of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series a year later.

Roe, who is also a tour ambassador, said: "When I first began racing there were hardly any girls cycling; I would be racing against the boys.

"To have a race like this will mean young girls can be inspired to get out on a bike."

Fellow ambassador Archibald, team pursuit champion at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and a winner of the individual pursuit on the Gold Coast, backed Roe's sentiments and commented: "This is a great route for a race and the sheer calibre of teams and riders who will be racing the first Women's Tour of Scotland is really exciting.

"I'm proud to be involved with the tour and I really hope more women and girls will be inspired to start cycling as a result."

Scottish Cycling president Tom Bishop, a Dunfermline resident and former chairman of Dunfermline Cycling Club, said: "I am delighted to see the Tour pass through the countryside of the Kingdom of Fife to my hometown Dunfermline.

"The finish in Andrew Carnegie's beautiful gift - the culturally rich Pittencrieff Park - will enable the vibrant local cycling community, in Scotland and beyond, to celebrate how cycling can transform lives as they are inspired to get on their bikes and get active through seeing a brilliant top level race up close."

Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Scotland's Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, added: "We are a nation that celebrates our diversity and equality so I am delighted that we are hosting the inaugural Women's Tour of Scotland.

"With the Cycling World Championships coming to Scotland in 2023, this event adds to our drive to become one of Europe’s top cycling nations with cycling firmly embedded across Scotland as the favoured way to travel to school and work, as an enjoyable leisure activity and an efficient way to improve health."

The second stage of the tour, on Saturday August 10, will take riders on a 139.4km route from Glasgow's George Square to Perth through the Trossachs, with the final stage taking in a 118.3km circular route to and from Edinburgh's Holyrood Park via the Borders.

As part of the tour's legacy and development programme, alongside the professional race, each start and finish will feature family activation zones for fans, spectators, local residents, cycling clubs, visitors and families to get involved and be inspired to ride.