Cumbria will be hosting some of the world’s top professional cyclists when the Tour of Britain returns to the county, this week.
Cumbria will be co-hosting Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain 2021, scheduled to take place on Friday, September 10.
It will be the tenth time Cumbria has hosted the UK’s biggest cycling event – only London has welcomed the Tour of Britain on more occasions (13).
Councillors say they are ‘absolutely thrilled’ Cumbria County Council is once again working with organisers to welcome one of the country’s top sporting events for a third consecutive race.
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Services, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Cumbria will once again be hosting the Tour of Britain, the biggest free to watch sporting event in the country.
“The race will take in a number of our communities in Carlisle and Eden, including some for the first time. We believe it will inspire families to get on their bikes, whether it’s for competitive racing, getting to work or school, or simply for pleasure.
“Cycling regularly is really good for our health – it can boost our wellbeing, keep you fit and help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease.”
Cumbria will feature extensively during Stage 6 of the 2021 race from Carlisle to Gateshead. From Carlisle the stage will head south via Dalston and an opening intermediate Sprint at Motherby before entering the Lake District National Park and running alongside Ullswater.
After passing through Pooley Bridge and over the village’s iconic new stainless steel road bridge, riders will contest a second intermediate Sprint in Penrith, heading on to the eight kilometre climb of Hartside that will be the first of three ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs.
The race will take in Alston and Nenthead for the first time before heading over the Pennines to culminate with a finish at Gateshead.
Commenting on the announcement, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “We are delighted to be announcing our return to Carlisle, a city that has welcomed the Tour of Britain on numerous occasions.
“The Cumbrian stages of the Tour of Britain always prove to be memorable and decisive, as we saw in 2019 when Mathieu van der Poel won a very similar stage to Kendal to take the overall lead. This year’s stage will be no different combining tough climbs and historic locations, with the beautiful scenery of Cumbria and the Lake District that will be broadcast around the world.”
Cumbria County Council is co-hosting Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain and one of the key aims is to inspire people to take up cycling, promoting health benefits for young and old alike.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, pointed out the potential boost to the economy the tour could bring.
“I’m really delighted we’ve been able to bring back the Tour of Britain, it’s another major coup for Cumbria,” he said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our beautiful county to a massive television audience.
“Cumbria saw a financial boost of more than £1.5m when this prestigious event came to the county in 2019 and I’m sure it will provide another huge boost for our economy this year.”