Yesterday, Northumberland took centre stage as the prestigious AJ Bell Tour of Britain cycle race returned to the county.
Cyclists rode from Carlisle through to Gateshead finishing in the shadow of the Angel of the North, with Northumberland providing a stunning backdrop for the central section of the race. Riders wowed the audience while speeding through various communities including Allendale, Hexham, Corbridge, Stocksfield and Prudhoe on the way.
Prudhoe County Councillor Gordon Stewart said,
“Residents, businesses and visitors turned out to welcome the race back to town. This gives us all a great lift after the pandemic, and with press and TV coverage it will boost trade and general interest in the town moving forward.”
“It was brilliant to see the riders speeding down Front Street, and seeing the audience cheering them on. For anyone who didn’t get a chance to see the cyclists, here is our clip of the day: https://fb.watch/7Xi_EI79r4/.”
Towns and villages all along the route prepared to welcome the boost the Tour brings while big names including Mark Cavendish were riding in the event. The Tour is a major opportunity to showcase the breath-taking beauty of our county with the race being televised live on ITV and watched in well over 100 countries. It brings tourists to our county and the economic impact will run to millions of pounds.
Belgian star Wout van Aert won the stage - the Belgian national champion sprinted home ahead of Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) as a 10-rider group contested the finish after a thrilling finale on the roads into Gateshead that saw multiple riders trying to go clear for the stage victory.The event moved to Scotland for the final two stages of the 2021 race.