History will be made as Durham and Sunderland host stage three of this year’s Tour of Britain

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North East sports fans are in for a treat later in the year as a prestigious British cycle race takes place in Durham and Sunderland.

History will go down in history when on Tuesday September 6, when riders race in the shadow of Durham Cathedral and Castle on Owengate, as the town hosts a Tour stage start for the first time of Great Britain. However, it won’t be the quickest route along the A690 to Sunderland that many would usually use on the first leg of the tour which would be on English soil.

Instead, more than 100 of the world’s best runners will head west into the North Pennines AONB. Among the challenges of the first 50 kilometers of the 168 kilometer route is the ascent of Chapel Fell, a four kilometer climb near the border with Cumbria.

Read more: Durham Cathedral Museum reopens with its treasures on display again

The peloton then heads to its southernmost point at Barnard Castle, before heading northeast through Bishop Auckland, Hetton-le-Hole and Houghton-le-Spring en route to a sprint finish. The finish line is outside the new Sunderland Town Hall.

Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Tour of Britain, said: “The third stage of this year’s Tour of Britain really has it all for what will be our first visits to two fantastic cities: a start in the historic from Durham in the shadow of its castle and cathedral, an incredibly scenic drive through some of the UK’s finest grounds and picturesque villages, and an arrival outside Sunderland’s New Town Hall. From our previous visits to the North East, we know how passionate and enthusiastic people are when it comes to the sport, so I’m sure many will attend this world-class free event in September.”

The announcement comes as County Durham’s quest to be named UK City of Culture 2025 kicks into high gear, after the county-wide bid made the shortlist of four last month.

Councilor Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Partnerships, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have stage three of the Tour of Britain cycle race getting underway in Durham City this year. Equally exciting is the fact that the route will showcase our beautiful county.

“This reflects Durham’s shortlisted bid to be UK City of Culture 2025, which aims to secure the prestigious title for the whole county. Sport is an integral part of our culture and an integral part of our bid.”



The peloton climbs a hill in St Ives during Stage 1 of the Tour of Britain from Penzance to Bodmin

As well as being the race’s first visit to Durham, it will also be the first modern visit to Sunderland. However, the city has hosted the Milk Race – a semi-professional precursor to the Tour of Britain – on several occasions in its 35-year history. It will also host a round of the Tour Series, Britain’s main domestic cycle racing series, on Tuesday May 10 at a circuit centered around Mowbray Park.

Read more: Northumberland cyclist ‘lucky to be alive’ after cardiac arrest near defibrillator

Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are really delighted to be hosting the Tour of Britain in Sunderland for the first time in September. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our wonderful city, with the route skirting some of our award-winning parks and offering glimpses of the magnificent Penshaw Monument as it passes through our communities.



Crowds line a street and cheer cyclists as they ride up the street
Tour of Britain Stage 4 – Aberaeron to Great Orme, Llandudno, Wales – The peloton climbs the Great Orme.

“Equally exciting is the prospect of a sprint finish, with over 100 of the world’s best runners racing through our city center to the finish line at City Hall, in the heart of Riverside Sunderland I think it will be a really amazing sight that people will flock to see.

“I would also like to think that the tour will inspire more people to take their bikes as part of our exciting activity program of swimming, cycling, running and enjoying our fabulous green spaces and fantastic coastline. to enjoy all the physical aspects and mental health benefits that come from physical activity.”

This year’s Tour of Britain is the 18th modern edition of the race and takes place from September 4-11. Last year the overall lead changed hands five times in eight days before the crown was finally taken by Belgian rider Wout Van Aert, and the battle for victory in 2022 looks set to go down once again. more until the last pedal strokes.



A cyclist in a black shirt triumphantly raises his right arm as competitors race behind him
Wout Van Aert of Jumbo Visma wins Stage 1, the Penzance to Bodmin section of the Tour of Britain

Spectators can watch for free from the roadside, but for those unable to travel to the North East, coverage of each stage as well as nightly highlights will be shown on ITV4. The race will also be broadcast in 150 countries around the world.

Last year’s roadside crowds of over a million spectators generated £29.96million in net economic benefits for the UK economy, according to research by Frontline. For more information, visit the official website of the event.

Where can I see the Tour of Britain 2022?

Stop One: Aberdeen to Glenshee Ski Center

Stage 2: Hawick to Duns

Stage three: Durham to Sunderland

Stage Four: Redcar to Duncombe Park, Helmsley

Stage five: West Bridgford to Mansfield

Sixth stage: from Tewkesbury to Gloucester

Stage Seven: West Bay to Ferndown

Stage 8: Ryde to the Needles

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