The routes for the European Cycling Road Race Championships, which are part of Glasgow 2018, have been unveiled and will take in Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and – in the men’s race – Stirling. The races will set off from Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and will snake through the central belt before returning to Glasgow for an exciting finishing straight on Glasgow Green.

The European Cycling Road Championships, which feature men and women’s elite road and time trial events, will see more than 300 of Europe’s best cyclists compete in Scotland, giving sports fans an historic opportunity to see the best riders on the continent race past their doorsteps this summer – for free.

Since the introduction of elite riders in 2016, previous European Cycling Road Championships winners include three-time world champion Peter Sagan, who took men’s road race gold in 2016 and last year’s women’s road race winner Marianne Vos,

a former Olympic road champion.

Sports Minister Aileen Campbell admits to being immensely excited by Glasgow 2018 and cannot wait for the world’s best cyclists to compete in the city and across Scotland.

“The time trial and road races for Glasgow 2018 will see some of Europe’s best cyclists travelling past some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks,” she said.

“Worldwide TV audiences will be able to enjoy a thrilling competition, not just in Glasgow but also in East Dunbartonshire and Stirling, widening the benefits of the Championships.

“I expect our enthusiasm for cycling, which has been so evident in previous events, will be on show with spectators coming out to line the route and cheer on the competitors.”

Councillor David McDonald, depute leader of Glasgow City Council, added: “The cycling events at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships will be a real highlight of the summer with stars from across the continent competing.

“The great road races of France, Spain and Italy all showcase their cities and countryside to massive audiences, and I am sure these events will do the same for Glasgow and our neighbours. Scotland has a great cycling tradition, and I look forward to these races and time trials being hugely popular.”

Katie Archibald, who won team pursuit gold on the track at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games also competes on the road and could well be one of the star attractions this summer, along with a number of Britain’s top road racers.

The cycling road races were some of the best supported events at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years ago and with part of the legacy aim to bring more world-class sporting events to these shores, Glasgow 2018 is doing exactly that.

The European Cycling Road Championships is one of four cycling disciplines taking place as part of the multi-sport Glasgow 2018 European Championships, alongside the European Championships for BMX, Mountain Biking and Track Cycling.

Other sports taking place across Glasgow and Scotland during the Championships include the existing European Championships for aquatics, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon along with a brand new European Golf Team Championships being held at Gleneagles.

Athletics will take place in Berlin, completing the 2018 European Championships sport roster.

The Championships will run from August 2-12, with road race events on Sunday, August 5 (Women’s Road Race), Wednesday, August 8 (Men and Women’s Time Trial) and Sunday, August 12 (Men’s Road Race).