Route plans for the prestigious Aviva Tour of Britain cycle race have been announced for this Septembers two exciting Northumberland stages on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 September.

Full Northumberland route details can be found at the new regional website www.nlandtob.com

On Stage Four of the tour, the race will start in Edinburgh and then enter Northumberland heading along a route from Ford, where a SKODA King of the Mountains climb will be located, to Wooler and Alnwick, before continuing down the spectacular Northumberland coastline to finish the leg in Blyth. 

The tour re-starts the following morning from Prudhoe with Stage Five, where the race will include a YodelDirect Sprint in Hexham and a SKODA King of the Mountains climb from Haydon Bridge to Hadrian’s Wall, the race will then head across the Pennines into Cumbria before ending in a summit finish on Hartside Fell above Melmerby and Penrith.

The eight-stage race runs from 6-13 September with the Northumberland stages taking place on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 September. 

Northumberland County Council has worked with Active Northumberland, sponsors Northumbrian Water and race organisers SweetSpot to bring the race to Northumberland.

Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The race will be a celebration of Northumberland which is a fabulous place to live in, visit and to cycle in. It will showcase our communities, heritage and iconic landmarks and it is a chance for us all to enjoy a wonderful international sporting spectacle.”

Some of the world’s top cyclists are expected to turn up to compete. Last year the UK’s favourites Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were both in the 120-rider starting line-up.

Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Aviva Tour of Britain said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Aviva Tour of Britain back to the North East and hosting both a Start and Finish in Northumberland for the first time. Stages Four and Five both travel through some fantastic scenery that we look forward to showcasing with the race and hope to see big crowds lining the roadside this September.”

The routes were announced at the Northumberland Sainsbury’s School Games Festivals (Tuesday 23 June) where 2,000 young people were competing to become county champions in a range of sports. Professional cyclists from the Tour came along to coach pupils interested in cycling.

""Cramlington Sporting Club hosted the event along with North East professional cyclist Harry Tanfield of JLT Condor presented by Mavic, and Marie-Anne Dowson, School Sport Partnership Manager, Cramlington & Seaton Valley School Sport Partnership said: “It is great that we can bring the launch of the Tour of Britain to the Northumberland School Games.

“Young people across Northumberland have competed in local competitions to reach these finals so it’s a very exciting day. Having the pro-tour cyclists here is a great opportunity for the students to learn what it takes to be successful in sport and it’s a great way to inspire the next generation of stars.”

The School Games is part of a national Sport England programme designed to increase competitive opportunities for young people in school. The School Games Organisers include Northumberland Sport and national governing bodies of sport.

David Hall, Head of Leisure, Strategy and Transformation at Northumbrian Water said:
“Northumbrian Water works hard to support events that benefit the economy of the North East and as the Tour of Britain passes through what we consider one of the best cycling counties in the UK, it will help to boost regional tourism and showcase Northumberland to the rest of the world.

“As a business, we have a long association with cycling, both in terms of supporting races and providing opportunities for leisure cycling at our sites and we’re delighted to be able to help bring this elite sporting event right here to our region.”

Bruce Ledger, Chief Executive of Active Northumberland, said: “Cycling is a sport that is very accessible. It is a relatively cheap sport to take part in and we have some excellent cycling routes in the county so it would be great to see more people get on their bikes to keep fit.”

Councillor Anne Dale, Chair of the Council’s Walking and Cycling Board, said: “The world’s greatest cyclists will ride through the beautiful and wild landscape of west Northumberland on Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain. It’s going to be challenging for the riders and a very exciting day for spectators as the cyclists race through the county’s towns and villages passing landmarks such as the River Tyne, Hexham Abbey and the world-renowned Hadrian’s Wall.”

The race will go through 29 communities in Northumberland over the two days, covering approximately 112miles (181kms) in the county over two days of racing.

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Northumberland has a strong network of cycling clubs and events, from mass participation sportifs such as the Virgin Money Cyclone in the south of the County, to the Wooler Wheel in the north, and professional races such as the Tour of the Reservoir and Beaumont Trophy, and spectacular long distance cycle paths including the C2C and the Sandstone Way.

ITV will screen three-hours of live coverage of every stage, starting on ITV for the opening Wales stage before reverting to ITV4 for Stages Two to Eight.  ITV4 will also screen a one-hour highlights programme each evening during the race. 

After the Stage Five finish on Hartside Fell, the Aviva Tour of Britain will include stages in the Peak District, between Stoke-on-Trent and Nottingham, and Norfolk and Suffolk, before a final stage in the heart of London, starting and finishing on Regent Street St James.