THE ROUTE of the Tour of Britain 2021 was announced today and it runs through Hexham.

Stage six of the tour starts in Carlisle, before travelling south past Ullswater and through Penrith. It then heads north-east through the North Pennines AONB to Hartside.

From there, it travels east to Burtree Fell and up to Hexham via the B6305, past the Post Office and Hexham General before it follows the A695 eastbound, which mirrors the River Tyne.

As it enters Prudhoe, the road changes to the B6395 and it will be the scene of a sprint past Barclays and Greggs, before the finish in Gateshead.  The cyclists will have to climb a total of 3,000 metres in one day.

Mayor Derek Kennedy said: "This is a great exposé of all that’s wonderful about Hexham.  I know it gets a lot of coverage on the TV so it will put Hexham on the map and show them what we have to offer.  It can only be a positive thing to show what Hexham is and it will show the surrounding areas too.

"Any visitors are most welcome, Hexham is a welcoming place and a great place to go cycling.  From lovely towns and villages to nice pubs and restaurants, anybody would be impressed by these green and pleasant lands."

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, said:

"It is brilliant that Northumberland will be welcoming back world-class cyclists this September.

"The Tour will attract fantastic opportunities for local shops, pubs and businesses as cyclists travel across the Tyne Valley, with an exciting sprint as they leave Prudhoe. I look forward to welcoming everyone to Northumberland for this exciting event."

It will be a difficult day of cycling - the route has three 'SKODA King of the Mountains' climbs, which are all Category One, the second-toughest gradient classification in cycling.

The Tour is a huge boon when it visits a town.  People travel to see the cyclists pass through and visit local shops and restaurants.

This stage of the tournament will take place on Friday, September 10.

Councillor Cath Homer, Northumberland County Councillor for Hexham East, said: “I’m delighted to see the Tour of Britain return to Northumberland and especially to have the race pass through our beautiful town once again.

“The race quite rightly attracts thousands of visitors and we will be more than ready to welcome them to Hexham.

“I’d also encourage all our residents, schools, community groups and businesses to get involved in what will be a fantastic day for our town.”

In 2015, thousands turned out to see the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, as well as other top sportspeople, make their way from Prudhoe to Hartside.

After Gateshead, it will reconvene in Hawick before almost immediately travelling into Scotland on its way to Edinburgh, where two stages of the tour are based.