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Tour of Britain in the North East - what you need to know

The Tour of Britain was last in our region in 2017, with a stage finish in Blyth. Credit: SWPix.com

Many of the world's leading cyclists will be racing through the North East on Monday 9 September and Tuesday 10 September, as two stages of the Tour of Britain are held in our region.

The route takes in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead and County Durham.

It's free to watch at the roadside, as the peloton (the main group of cyclists in a race) come past, and bigger crowds are expected at the start and finish of each stage.

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

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.

There will be a 'Tour Village' near the finish line for each stage, with a big screen showing the action and race merchandise on sale.

The Tour of Britain was revived in 2004, and was last in our region in 2017.

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

STAGE 3 - MONDAY 9 SEPTEMBER

  • Start: Berwick
  • Finish: Newcastle
  • Distance: 183.2km

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The Tour of Britain arrives in the North East on Monday 9 September, with Stage 3 taking in Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle.

The riders will roll out from Marygate in the centre of Berwick at 11am, and cross the Old Bridge before they get up to speed and the racing begins for the day.

The route goes through Wooler, Bamburgh, Seahouses, Alnwick, Warkworth and Morpeth - showing off the Northumberland coast and some of its majestic castles.

The Tour of Britain will be passing Bamburgh Castle, as it did in 2017. Credit: SWPix.com

After taking in Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, North Shields and Wallsend, the riders will race along the Newcastle Quayside, before a spectacular uphill finish on Grey Street in the city centre between 3pm and 4pm.

STAGE 4 - TUESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER

  • Start: Gateshead
  • Finish: Kendal
  • Distance: 173.2km

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Stage 4 looks set to be the toughest of this year's Tour of Britain, with nearly 3,000 metres of climbing.

The riders will roll out from South Shore Road on Gateshead's Quayside at 11am, and the racing will start before the peloton passes the Angel of the North.

The route passes through Whickham and Blaydon, before heading into County Durham and the North Pennines.

The high point of the Tour of Britain comes at just over 500 metres above sea level, at Bollihope Common, just south of Stanhope.

The race then passes through Middleton-in-Teesdale and into Cumbria, ready for another uphill finish in Kendal between 3pm and 4pm.

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.

THE RIDERS

120 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.

Mark Cavendish will be competing for stage victories and sprint points. Credit: PA

Star riders 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

Harry Tanfield will be looking to set one of the fastest times in the Stage 6 time trial. Credit: PA

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.

Many of the riders are here as part of their preparations for the UCI Road World Championships, which are being held in Yorkshire from 22 to 29 September.

THE JERSEYS

There are four leaders' jerseys, worn by the riders leading each classification after every stage, and ultimately won by the riders leading each classification at the end of the whole race.

The green jersey is worn by the overall leader of the Tour of Britain, equivalent to the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. It is awarded to the rider who has completed all stages in the shortest time.

Credit: Tour of Britain

The points jersey (pale blue) is awarded to the race's most consistent finisher - the rider who has accumulated the most points at the finish line of each stage.

Credit: Tour of Britain

The King of the Mountains jersey (black and dark green) is awarded to the race's best climber - the rider who has won the most points at the summits of designated climbs on each stage of the race.

Credit: Tour of Britain

The sprints jersey (red) is worn by the rider who picks up the most points on three intermediate sprints during each stage. Bonus seconds taken off riders' overall race times are also available.

Credit: Tour of Britain

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.