Sunderland to welcome Tour of Britain for the first time in September 2022

Riders taking part in the Tour of Britain in September 2021 Credit: PA

Sunderland will play a starring role when the Tour of Britain heads to the city for the first time later this year.

It will host the finish of stage three on Tuesday, September 6, as the eight-day event works its way down from Aberdeenshire - onto Redcar and Cleveland and North Yorkshire after Sunderland - and then finishing in the Isle of Wight.

More than 100 of the world’s best riders will compete in the 18th edition of the race, with a large crowd expected to turn out for the free-to-watch spectacle.

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “The 2022 race is shaping up to be another unforgettable edition of the race, particularly since we’re mixing familiar regions, with new areas like Sunderland, places we’ve never fully explored and those we’ve been unable to visit for many years.

"Hopefully today’s announcement whets the appetite while we finalise the route of this stage in the North East – rest assured we’ve got some more surprises to come!” 

'A brilliant day'

While it may be the modern race’s first visit to Sunderland, the city welcomed the Milk Race – a semi-professional forerunner of the Tour of Britain – on multiple occasions during its 35-year history.

It also hosted a round of the Tour Series, Britain’s leading domestic cycle race series, in August 2021 on a circuit centered around the historic Mowbray Park.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said he hoped the event would not only be celebrated on the day, but would leave a legacy.

“It promises to be a brilliant day out for residents and visitors alike and one which we hope people will flock to see," he added.

“We’re also hoping that seeing elite riders in action will inspire more people to take to their bikes as part of our exciting programme of swim bike run activities in the coming years.

"This is all about encouraging more people to be get active and take advantage of our wonderful city, green spaces and fantastic coastline, not to mention all the physical and mental health benefits that being active brings with it.”

The full route for stage three, including the start venue and finish location, will be revealed in due course.

Today’s announcement forms part of the race’s host region reveal, which also confirmed a return to Yorkshire and first-ever full stages in Dorset and Gloucestershire.

This year’s Tour of Britain will visit the following regions:

  • Stage one: Sunday 4 September, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

  • Stage two: Monday 5 September, South of Scotland

  • Stage three: Tuesday 6 September, North East of England and Sunderland

  • Stage four: Wednesday 7 September, Redcar & Cleveland and North Yorkshire

  • Stage five: Thursday 8 September, Nottinghamshire

  • Stage six: Friday 9 September, Gloucestershire

  • Stage seven: Saturday 10 September, Dorset

  • Stage eight: Sunday 11 September, Isle of Wight

ITV4 will continue to broadcast live flag-to-flag coverage of every stage, as well as a nightly highlights show, allowing fans in the UK to watch wherever they are.

The race will also be shown in over 150 countries worldwide.

Last year’s race was won by Belgian rider Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo – Visma), with reigning world road race champion Julian Alaphilippe finishing third overall.

A roadside crowd of over one million spectators resulted in the Tour of Britain generating £29.96m of net economic benefit for the UK economy, according to research by Frontline.

The race is a finalist in the Sporting Event of the Year category at the Event Production Awards, which takes place in London next week.