Communities, including many schoolchildren, gave a warm welcome to the Aviva Tour of Britain as it sped through north Northumberland earlier today.
Northumberland was in the spotlight once again today as the Tour of Britain came through the county on its first visit to the North East since 2009.
Approaching the midpoint of this year’s Tour, one of the world’s most high-profile cycle races,hundreds gathered on roadsides and hilltops to cheer the cyclists on their way.
And the Northumberland flag and bikes and other items painted in the Northumbrian colours of red and yellow were certainly in ready supply.
The riders started Stage Four in Edinburgh and headed south before crossing the border into England at Cornhill.
The picturesque village of Ford was the focus for a King of the Mountains section around 12.45pm before the race continued to Wooler then cut across towards the coast.
Arriving on the outskirts of Alnwick around 1.45pm, there was another King of the Mountains section at Hinding Lane.
Heading through the centre of Alnwick, there was a sprint section ending outside Lloyds’ Bank before the peloton squeezed through the Hotspur Tower.
Racing down the coastline, there was another sprint section in Warkworth before the stage visited Amble, then Widdrington and Cresswell, followed by Bedlington, Cramlington, Seaton Delaval, culminating in the grand finale in Blyth’s Market Place around 3.30pm.
As well as offering the people of Northumberland the chance to see and cheer on the UK’s largest free-to-watch sporting spectacle, it also showcased the county as live coverage was broadcast on ITV4 from 1pm to the finish, with an hour-long highlights show in the evening.
King of the Mountains at Ford: 1 Rob Partridge (NFTO), 2 Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing), 3 Alan Marangoni (Team Cannondale-Garmin).
King of the Mountains at Alnwick: 1 Rob Partridge (NFTO), 2 Matteo Trentin (Etixx Quick-Step), 3 Alan Marangoni (Team Cannondale-Garmin).
Sprint at Alnwick: 1 Matteo Trentin (Etixx Quick-Step), Michael Svendgaard (Cult Energy Pro Cycling), Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing).
Sprint at Warkworth: 1 Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing), 2 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (MTN Qhubeka), 3 Matteo Trentin (Etixx Quick-Step).
Stage Four: 1 Fernando Gaviria (Etixx Quick-Step), 2 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), 3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN Qhubeka).