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08 September 2021

Cumbria ready to welcome Tour of Britain

Cumbria is gearing up for the return of the Tour of Britain which once again will bring many of cycling’s biggest names to the county.

The world’s top riders will be competing in this year’s AJ Bell Tour of Britain race, including British sporting heroes, Olympic medallists, world champions and former stage and jersey winners.

Carlisle will host the start of Stage 6, this Friday, 10 September. Riders will head off on a gruelling 198-km route from Castle Car Park (previously known as Devonshire Walk Car Park), with Carlisle Castle providing a spectacular backdrop.

They will head south via Dalston and an opening intermediate Sprint at Motherby before entering the Lake District National Park and riding alongside Ullswater.

After passing through Pooley Bridge and over its iconic new stainless steel road bridge, riders will battle it out on a second intermediate Sprint in Penrith, heading on to the testing 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 for the finish at Gateshead.

Big name riders announced in the provisional line up include sprinter Mark Cavendish, winner of the most stages in modern Tour of Britain history, and reigning UCI road world champion Julian Alaphilippe.

They will be competing against the likes of Tokyo 2020 medallists Wout van Aert, Ethan Hayter and Rohan Dennis.

A team from hosts Cumbria County Council has been working with organisers and supporting partners Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council to welcome one of the country’s top sporting events for a third consecutive race. Spectators are encouraged to watch the race at any point along the route, providing they do so safely.

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Services, said: “It’s wonderful that once again the world’s premier cyclists will be competing in Cumbria.

“We know from previous years just how popular the race is and how much people look forward to it. As well as bringing some world class sporting entertainment to the county, the Tour of Britain inspires people to think about their own fitness and wellbeing.”

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The Tour of Britain showcases some of the very best of Cumbria and it is always a pleasure to see events of this stature taking place in the county.

“This year’s route takes in some spectacular landscapes which I am sure will lead to many TV viewers wanting to enjoy their own Cumbrian adventure.”

Race Director Mick Bennett said: “We are looking forward to returning to Carlisle and Cumbria with the AJ Bell Tour of Britain and excitement is now really building.  This year’s Tour has a fantastic field of riders from around the world, including home rider Mark Donovan who we are sure will receive a great reception from the Cumbrian crowd.  

“After missing last year, this year’s race will be very special so we hope that wherever people are watching they have a great day and encourage them to respect the riders and their fellow fans and give everyone space to ensure that they can enjoy the race safely.”

Carlisle City Cllr Stephen Higgs, Portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure, added: “I’m delighted that Carlisle is once again hosting a stage start for the Tour of Britain. This is the fifth time the city has welcomed the race.

“The Tour is the biggest free to watch sporting event in the country and it will bring Carlisle to the attention of a global audience. It is a great opportunity to showcase the city on world-wide television, as well as to attract visitors to see the cyclists in action.”

2021 marks the county’s 11th appearance in the UK’s biggest cycling event with only London welcoming the Tour on more occasions.

The full route for Stage 6 from Carlisle to Gateshead can be found at https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/stages/stage-six/

The eight-stage race started on Sunday, 5 September, with spectators asked to ensure the event is safe and secure for everybody involved. It finishes in Aberdeen on 12 September.

Details of Covid-19 protocols can be found at https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/tour-of-britain-prepares-to-welcome-back-fans/

Spectator information, including car parking, can be found at https://www.discovercarlisle.co.uk/Whats-On/tour-of-britain

Spectators should note there is no car parking on site at the stage start. Castle car park (formerly known as Devonshire Walk car park) will be closed from 6pm on Thursday 9 September until 3pm on Friday 10 September.

Cumbria is gearing up for the return of the Tour of Britain which once again will bring many of cycling’s biggest names to the county.