Stockton hosts elite cyclists as part of the British Cycling National Road Race Series
Hundreds of families turned out in Stockton-on-Tees to watch 250 elite cyclists race in one of seven legs of the British Cycling National Road Race Series.
The two day event marked the tenth anniversary of the Stockton Cycling Festival, bringing in a boost to the local economy.
Cllr Steve Nelson of Stockton Borough Council told ITV News Tyne Tees: "The Grand Prix, National Road Race. There’s only seven in the country.
"We’ve got 250 elite cyclists taking part. It’s an honour and a privilege for the borough to be hosting for, this is our tenth year. It obviously increases footfall and it brings people into the town centre.
"We’re obviously doing major redevelopment in the town centre and what we’re trying to do is bring people in, so they can enjoy themselves. If they haven’t got any money, I know times are hard, that’s why it’s basically a free festival."
Cyclists of all abilities were able to sample three road courses, including the Tour de Moor 105 miles route through Teesside and North Yorkshire and the 38 mile flat route.
Activities included the elite racing, extreme bike battle stunt shows, the cycle try out track, free climbing wall, giant lawn games, face painting, arts and crafts.
One man enjoying the event said: "It's great. It’s good to see the kids banging on the hoardings when the cyclists are coming past, they really look like they’re enjoying themselves."
A woman said it was "fantastic" to have elite racing "on our doorstep", adding: "I think it’s great, you know, I mean I watch the Tour de France on the television and I really enjoy that, but this is fantastic, it really is, you know and it should bring a lot of revenue into the town to host this."
And a young girl said she was "inspired" by the racers, explaining: "I think it’s really good. I think it really inspires young people to start biking and stuff. Oh it’s really good, they go so fast and it’s just really impressive."