Prestigious cycle race to return to Northumberland

Tour of Britain in Ford in 2015.
 Picture by Jane Coltman
Tour of Britain in Ford in 2015. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest and most prestigious cycle race, is set to return to Northumberland later this year.

The county is to host an entire stage of the race, starting in Kielder and finishing in Blyth, on Monday, September 4.

The exact route through The Secret Kingdom, on day two of the major sporting spectacle, has not yet been announced, but it will pass through the Northumberland National Park and many rural and urban communities along the way.

It comes on the back of the successful 2015 race, when the county hosted two days of the event, but not an entire leg.

Research showed that the direct economic impact of hosting the Tour in Northumberland was £2.13million.

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

This year’s Tour is set to be broadcast in more than 120 countries, including live coverage on ITV4, and is likely to feature some of the world’s best cyclists.

County-council Leader Coun Grant Davey said: “The race will showcase our county, heritage and iconic landmarks while providing a fantastic opportunity for us all to enjoy a wonderful sporting spectacle and bring major investment to the county.”

The eight-stage, free-to-spectate Tour of Britain takes place from Sunday, September 3, to Sunday, September 10.

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, is delighted that the Tour is coming back to the county.

She said: “The benefit that the race brought to the county last time was brilliant and we have been really supportive of the ambitions to bring it back to Northumberland and have a whole stage in the county.

“We will be encouraging people to come and spend at least a week in Northumberland around the time that the Tour is here, as well as encouraging them to come before and after the event to try out the great road cycle routes that we have in Northumberland.”

The county council’s business chairman Coun Scott Dickinson added: “The Tour of Britain had a massive positive impact on Northumberland in 2015.

“I would encourage everybody to get behind this year’s event, just like they did when the Tour was here last time.”

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, is delighted that the Tour is coming back to the county.

She said: “The benefit that the race brought to the county last time was brilliant and we have been really supportive of the ambitions to bring it back to Northumberland and have a whole stage in the county.

“We will be encouraging people to come and spend at least a week in Northumberland around the time that the Tour is here, as well as encouraging them to come before and after the event to try out the great road cycle routes that we have in Northumberland.”

The county council’s business chairman Coun Scott Dickinson added: “The Tour of Britain had a massive positive impact on Northumberland in 2015.

“I would encourage everybody to get behind this year’s event, just like they did when the Tour was here last time.”