The Tour of Britain, Britain’s largest free-to-watch outdoor sporting event, is returning to Cumbria on Monday 5 September for a tough stage through the heart of the beautiful Lake District and Cumbria.

Some of the world’s top cyclists – including British Olympic heroes Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish – will be competing in this year’s race as Cumbria hosts Stage 2 from Carlisle to Kendal.
 
Excitement is mounting for the race and a number of community events and activities are being organised along the 117-mile route. The Cumbria Stage starts in Carlisle and the riders will then head off through Penrith, Cockermouth, Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere before finishing atop the challenging climb of Beast Banks in Kendal.
 
People travelling by road on the day are advised to plan their journeys ahead to minimise disruption.
 
The Carlisle start will be in the city centre pedestrianised area, outside the Old Town Hall. The warm-up begins at 9am for an 11am start. Local cycling groups – Border City Wheelers; Watchtree Wheelers; Carlisle Junior Tri Club and Rock to Roll Cycles – have been invited to join in with the event and around four cyclists per club will be given the opportunity to participate in the race, cycling from the start line, past the Citadel, around The Crescent onto Lowther Street and then stop at the end of Bank Street. 
 
Ahead of the big day, a Carlisle Cycle Sunday event is being held in Carlisle city centre on Sunday 4 September, 11am-3pm. The cycle themed event will include trade stands from local cycling providers and cycle groups, and will feature cycling stunt teams, street entertainment and lots of 'have a go' cycling activities.

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Towns and villages along the Cumbria stage are also gearing up for the big day, with thousands expected to line the route and communities welcoming the riders with an array of yellow bikes, bunting and artwork.
 
Millhouse & District Public Room & Millhouse Flood Action Group will be decorating the village when the Tour passes through. Refreshments will be available for spectators in the Public Room.
 
A huge television screen in Keswick's Market Square will broadcast the race. The town will host an all-day event, which has been organised by Keswick Tourism Association working closely with Keswick Bikes, Rather Be Cycling, Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre and Allerdale Borough Council. Additional funding has also been provided by the Cumbrian Local Economic Partnership.
 
There will also be a giant screen in Ambleside showing the race day action. Ambleside Together has arranged for live screening of the event throughout the day in the grounds of the University of Cumbria campus, not far from the foot of the SKODA King of the Mountains climb of The Struggle.

Spectators planning to attend the stage finish in Kendal will find plenty to do in the town while they wait for the race to arrive, with a 'promo village' featuring the stands of race sponsors close to the finish line at Beast Banks and other stalls and activities centred around Market Place. A big screen will be showing the race inside Kendal Town Hall during the afternoon.
 
Four Cumbrian schools will also be taking part in a series of races in the finishing straight in Kendal from 12 noon to 1pm. British Cycling is running the Go-Ride schools competition, which will involve students from West Lakes Academy, Egremont; Keswick School; Settlebeck School, Sedbergh; and Kirkbie Kendal School. Schools taking part run their own Go-Ride school clubs, which aim to get more young people into cycling. Presentation of competition prizes will take place on the official Tour of Britain podium at around 1.30pm.
 
Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “It’s great to see Cumbria getting behind the Tour of Britain. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our county’s magnificent landscape and highlight that Cumbria is well and truly open for business after the winter floods.”
 
For the full route map and list of ETAs for the Cumbria stage please click here.

The Cumbria stage of the Tour of Britain is sponsored by the following organisations: United Utilities, Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council, University of Cumbria, Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council.