Details have been revealed for Stage Three of the Tour of Britain cycle race which will start at Durham’s cathedral and castle on Owengate and finish outside of Sunderland’s new City Hall.
It will take place on Tuesday, September 6, starting in Durham before cyclists head through Bishop Auckland, Hetton and Houghton before arriving in Sunderland and finishing at the new City Hall.
Race organisers SweetSpot say it’s the first time Durham has hosted a stage start or finish and it’s also the Tour’s first visit to Sunderland.
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Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “Stage three of this year’s Tour of Britain really does have it all on what will be our first visits to two fantastic cities: a start in historic Durham in the shadows of its castle and cathedral, an incredibly scenic route through some of the UK’s finest terrain and picturesque villages, and a finish outside Sunderland’s new City Hall.
"Through our previous visits to the North East we know how passionate and enthusiastic people are when it comes to sport, so I’m sure they’ll turn out in numbers for this free-to-watch, world-class event in September.”
While it’s the modern race’s first visit to Sunderland, the city has previously welcomed the Milk Race – a semi-professional forerunner of the Tour of Britain – on multiple occasions during its 35-year history.
Wearside is also set to host a round of the Tour Series, Britain’s leading domestic cycle race series, on Tuesday, May 10 around Mowbray Park.
Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming the Tour of Britain to Sunderland for the first time this September.
"It’s a brilliant 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.
“What is equally thrilling is the prospect of a sprint finish, with more than 100 of the world’s best riders racing through our city centre towards the finishing line at City Hall, at the heart of Riverside Sunderland. I think it will be a truly amazing spectacle which people will flock to see."