All you need toNews know about Tour
EXCITEMENT is building for the eagerly-anticipated return of the Tour of Britain to Northumberland.
Covering 117 miles and passing through 26 communities, the world’s elite riders will descend on the county next week.
The race - one of the most prestigious dates on the cycling calendar sees riders compete over eight days across the UK.
The Northumberland stage starts in Kielder Water and Forest Park and finishes in Blyth.
Here is everything you need to know about the event.
It is British Cycling’s premier road race and the country’s largest freeto-watch live annual sporting event.
The event takes place from September 3-10, with the Northumberland stage on September 4. Here are the key points and estimated timings: 10.15am - Start on Kielder Dam 11am - First King of the Mountains climb starts outside Elsdon, climbing to the Winter’s Gibbet
11.45am - Riders approach Rothbury followed by King of the Mountains hill climbs up Debdon Bank and Corby Crag 12.10pm - Riders arrive in Alnwick 1pm - Riders approach Belford and head to Bamburgh
1.20pm - Sprint through Seahouses 2pm - Sprint through Warkworth 2.40pm - Arrive in Morpeth via Amble, Widdrington and Ulgham
2.50pm - Arrive in Bedlington via Guide Post and Choppington
3pm - Riders pass through Blyth for the first time
3.10pm - Sprint through Seaton Sluice
3.30pm - Riders race back through Blyth for the finish.
The race will also be shown on ITV4 live.
A total of 120 of the world’s top cyclists will be racing in the tour, including last year’s winner Steve Cummings.
The top five ranked teams - QuickStep Floors, Team Sky, BMC Racing, Movistar Team and Orica-Scott - will all be involved in the event.
All roads on the route will be closed using a rolling roadblock system for around 40 minutes - both 20 minutes before and after the cyclists pass through each community.
Pedestrian access, and access for emergency services, will be maintained.
But in some key parts of the race, including Rothbury to Alnwick, Belford to Seahouses, Lesbury to Warkworth, Morpeth and Blyth town centres, the roads will be closed throughout the race.
Yes, access to Alnmouth train station will be restricted between 1.15pm and 2.45pm as the cyclists go down the A1068.
Access to Morpeth Bus Station, Morpeth Railway Station and car parks in the town centre will be disrupted between 2pm and 3.30pm.
Meanwhile, Go North East’s Seaton Sluice, Blyth 309 bus service will be affected between 2.15pm and 4.15pm, and it will terminate at a temporary bus stop by Hartley roundabout.
Some Arriva bus services will also be disrupted - check with the service for details.
Businesses, community groups and the public are being urged to decorate the route in red and yellow - the colours of the Northumberland flag.
They can dress their streets and shop windows with red and yellow bunting, flags and flowers, or display old or unwanted bicycles to celebrate the race.