Tour of Britain in Cumbria and southern Scotland: all you need to know

Many of the world's leading cyclists will be racing through the south of Scotland and Cumbria over the next few days, as the OVO Tour of Britain passes through our region.

Kirkcudbright, Kelso and Kendal will all act as finish lines for three stages of the event.

The world famous race is free to watch from the roadside, as the Peloton (the main group of cyclists in a race) come past.

Bigger crowds are expected when competitors cross the start and finish lines at each stage.

Previous editions of the race have attracted around 1.5m spectators at the roadside, and it's televised in 190 countries - helping show off our region to a global audience.

The Tour of Britain was revived in 2004, and was passed through our region in 2018.

The race has eight stages in total, starting this year in Glasgow on Saturday 7 September and finishing in Manchester on Saturday 14 September.

The Tour of Britain 2019 route. Credit: OVO Energy Tour

For the first time in modern race history, Scotland will host the opening pair of stages.

Stage one: Glasgow to Kirkcudbright, Saturday 7 September:

  • Cyclists will set off from Glasgow City during the first stage and will follow a route to finish in Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway. At 201 kilometres long, the opening day will be the longest of the 2019 race.

  • It will pass through New Galloway, Castle Douglas, Crossmichael and Bankhead - showcasing the sights of the region.

  • The race starts at 10:30am in Glasgow and finishes in at around 15:30 in Kirkcudbright.

Stage two: The Scottish Borders, Sunday 8 September

  • The stage will start and finish on the cobbled Market Square in Kelso, the scene of Caleb Ewan’s victory on the opening day of the 2017 tour.

  • The route will lead through St Boswells, looping round to Hardens Hill and Fishwick before the finish line.

  • Riders will set off from The Square, Kelso at 11:00 and aim to be back around 15:00.

Stage four: Gateshead to Kendal, Tuesday 10th September

  • The fourth part of the race promises to be one of the toughest days in modern Tour of Britain history, packing in almost 3,000 metres of climbing during its 106-mile east to west route.

  • Beginning in Gateshead, the route passes through the North Pennines before hitting Kirby Stephen, Sedburgh and Kirby Lonsdale and looping back up to Kendal to finish.

Residents, schools and shops have been encouraged to decorate their part of their route.

Kirkubright's high-street is decked out for the occasion, with shop showcasing their very best Tour of Britain themed window displays.

Road closures:

Rolling road closures will be enforced on and around each stage route.

The organisers say roads will usually be closed around 15 to 20 minutes before the lead riders arrive, and reopen once the rest of the riders have come through.

There will be longer road closures around the start and finish of each stage.

Credit: PA

The riders:

More than a hundred of the world's leading riders will race in this year's Tour of Britain.

There are 20 teams taking part, each made up of six riders.

They include Team INEOS (formerly Team Sky), Team Jumbo-Visma and Team Movistar.

Star cyclists include:

  • Mark Cavendish - 2011 World road race champion and 30-time Tour de France stage winner

  • Mathieu van der Poel - 2015 and 2019 cyclocross world champion

  • Mikel Landa - 4th place at 2017 Tour de France

  • Steve Cummings - 2016 Tour of Britain winner

  • Dylan van Baarle - 2014 Tour of Britain winner

  • Ben Swift - 2019 British road race champion

  • Harry Tanfield - 24-year-old rising star from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire

Last year’s Tour of Britain was won by Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, who led the Tour de France for 14 days this summer before eventually finishing fifth overall.

Julian Alaphilippe was crowned as Tour of Britain winner last year. Credit: PA
  • How to watch on TV:

ITV4 will have full live coverage of each stage of the Tour of Britain from Saturday 7 September to Saturday 14 September, and there will be a highlights show each day at 8pm.