The Tour of Britain will return to Carlisle for the first time since 2016 when the historic border city hosts the start of stage six on Friday 10 September.

Carlisle has a long history with the UK’s most prestigious cycle race, having first welcomed the race in 2005. It also appeared in the 2012, 2013 and 2016 editions, with all four of its previous appearances in the event also coming as stage starts.

Details of the Cumbrian section of the stage have also been revealed, with the Tour retracing large parts of the popular Sea to Sea route, including the climb of Hartside near Melmerby, which saw a summit finish won by Wout Poels in 2015.

Cumbria County Council is co-hosting stage six of the Tour of Britain and one of the key aims is to inspire people to take up cycling, promoting health benefits for young and old alike.

Tour of Britain Carlisle

Photo: The peloton roll out from Carlisle Castle at the start of stage two of the 2005 Tour of Britain

Route details

From Carlisle the stage will head south via Dalston and an opening intermediate sprint at Motherby before entering the Lake District National Park and running alongside Ullswater, England’s second largest lake.

After passing through Pooley Bridge and over the village’s iconic new stainless steel road bridge, riders will contest a second intermediate sprint in Penrith, heading on to the eight kilometre climb of Hartside that will be the first of three ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs.

This stage will mark the 10th time – and the third-consecutive edition – that Cumbria will host the Tour of Britain. The county notably gained an economic boost of over £1.5m for jointly hosting stage four in 2019, with nearly half of spectators saying that the race inspired them to cycle more often. Upon leaving Cumbria, the Tour of Britain will continue to head east before finishing by the Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead.

Click here to discover the full stage route.

Tour of Britain Carlisle Cumbria

Photo: Hartisde previously hosted a hill-top finish in the 2015 Tour of Britain – this time around its summit comes 111 kilometres from the line

In quotes

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Services, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Cumbria will once again be hosting the Tour of Britain, the biggest free to watch sporting event in the country. The race will take in a number of our communities in Carlisle and Eden, including some for the first time. We believe it will inspire families to get on their bikes, whether it’s for competitive racing, getting to work or school, or simply for pleasure. Cycling regularly is really good for our health – it can boost our wellbeing, keep you fit and help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease.”

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m really delighted we’ve been able to bring back the Tour of Britain, it’s another major coup for Cumbria. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our beautiful county to a massive television audience. Cumbria saw a financial boost of more than £1.5m when this prestigious event came to the county in 2019 and I’m sure it will provide another huge boost for our economy this year.”

Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “We are delighted to be announcing our return to Carlisle, a city that has welcomed the Tour of Britain on numerous occasions.

“The Cumbrian stages of the Tour of Britain always prove to be memorable and decisive, as we saw in 2019 when Mathieu van der Poel won a very similar stage to Kendal to take the overall lead.  This year’s stage will be no different combining tough climbs and historic locations, with the beautiful scenery of Cumbria and the Lake District that will be broadcast around the world.”

Video: Highlights of the Gateshead to Kendal stage in 2019