Excitement is mounting in Cumbria for the return of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with a whole host of community events and activities taking place in the run-up to the big race.

Many of the world’s top riders will be competing in this year’s race, including Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and Giro d’Italia winner Chris Froome.

Cumbria is hosting two days of racing on Thursday 6 (Cockermouth to Whinlatter team time trial) and Friday 7 September (Barrow-in-Furness to Whinlatter), sponsored by BAE Systems.

Cumbria County Council has played a leading role in bringing the Tour of Britain back to the county and we are encouraging communities throughout Cumbria to get involved – for example by decorating and displaying old bikes to show your support, arrange a community event or follow in the footsteps of some local communities organising giant land art.

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Local Communities, said: “I am so excited to welcome the Tour of Britain back to Cumbria on 6 and 7 September. It’s a fantastic community event that brings people together, and I’m been delighted there are so many examples of towns and villages getting ready for the race in all sorts of ways – from painting bikes to making bunting. I’d urge everyone to get behind the event and show the world what a fantastic place Cumbria is to live, work and play!”

Communities along the Cumbria stage routes are gearing up for the event, with many thousands expected to line the routes, and riders being welcomed with an array of brightly decorated bikes, bunting and decorations on display. There have already been a number of community events and campaigns to raise awareness of the Tour.

What’s on in Cumbria?

Allerdale

There will be an exercise bike in Workington Library so you can match the miles of the pros! Libraries in Cockermouth, Keswick and Workington are also hosting craft sessions to make bunting and silhouettes of bicycles to display in the library and local shop windows. The race will be broadcast in full in Workington Library.

Barrow

The Dock Museum is holding a Wheely Good Party on Thursday 6 September to celebrate the Tour of Britain’s visit.

Barrow BID is organising a special Fanzone on Dalton Road on race day (Friday 7 September) with a large outdoor TV screen and local cycling clubs will also host a virtual Spin Off challenge.

The Rotary Club of Furness is organising at Tour de Furness charity cycle event on Sunday 9 September. Visit tourdefurness.co for more information.

Copeland

A match the miles bike will be available in Whitehaven Library.

Local primary schools have been invited to take part in the 100-mile challenge – completing as many journeys by bike as possible in the two first two weeks of term.

There will also be an exhibition in Whitehaven Library displaying cycling through the ages in West Cumbria.

South Lakeland

A cycling wall art town trail will be running in Ulverston (see below). A Stan Laurel-themed land art project is planned on the Hoad, too.

The Ride The Lakes cycle sportive – the official sportive of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s Cumbrian stages – will start and finish at Kendal Rugby Union FC’s ground on Saturday 8 September. Long (using many of the roads that have featured in the race’s previous visits to Cumbria) and short routes are on offer to suit all ages and abilities.

There is also a family-friendly cycling event taking place at the Brockhole Visitor Centre, and a family fun day in Ulverston to celebrate the town’s Market Charter Day.

Full details of events and activities taking place throughout Cumbria can be found at cumbria.gov.uk/tob.