Communities invited to dress their area to impress for Tour of Britain

The Tour of Britain organisers are urging community groups, schools, businesses and land owners to show their support for the race by creating bigger than life works of art in open spaces across the North of Tyne area.

The idea of creating land art masterpieces along the route has long been a tradition of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, as well as other cycle races around the world, with the first official competition launching in 2018.

Following the success of the inaugural contest, the Tour of Britain National Land Art Competition will return for the 2019 race, which takes place across North of Tyne as stage three on Monday 9 September.

As well as the chance to be crowned winner of the national competition, those that take part could be featured on TV, with the race itself aired to 166 countries worldwide.

North of Tyne Combined Authority mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Our region has outstanding natural beauty, great cityscapes, and iconic landmarks.

“We’ve got the TV cameras coming, and worldwide broadcast – wouldn’t it be great if our communities along the route showed the rest of the world what a beautiful place the North of Tyne is?

“And if people want to catch the cameras’ attention, the more creative, the better – dressing up, decorating shop fronts and gardens, and floral displays. Let’s have some fun.”

In 2017, The Tour of Britain swept through Northumberland creating a wave of excitement as some of the world’s top cyclists,and residents and businesses dressed the route in the distinctive red and gold colours of the Northumberland flag, and thousands of spectators lined the route to cheer on the cyclists and give them a taste of our famous Geordie welcome.

This will be the first ever stage to link all of the areas of the North of Tyne Combined Authority area, with the route taking in Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle.

It will start from Berwick-upon-Tweed heading through and down the Northumberland coast, before the route heads into North Tyneside through Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, North Shields and Wallsend. The final kilometres will see the race heading alongside the banks of the River Tyne on the Quayside, before the final turn on to Dean Street and Grey Street for a spectacular city centre finish.

The 2019 race begins in Glasgow on Saturday 7 September, finishing eight days later in Manchester city centre on Saturday 14 September. ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage of each stage, along with a nightly highlights programme of the best of the action.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.

If you have a great idea for a piece of artwork that would really showcase pride in your area and support for the Tour of Britain as it comes your area, register your interest before 21 August 2019 at: www.northoftyne-tob.co.uk

Shah Amin