Nine of the world’s best cycling teams will be racing through Northumberland in September after the line-up of the Aviva Tour of Britain was announced.
Headlining the 20-team list are Team Cannondale Garmin, which won the 2014 Tour of Britain with Dylan Van Baarle, and the Etixx Quick-Step team of Mark Cavendish and world champion Michal Kwiatkowski.
Top-level British interests are represented by Team Sky, which has just won the Tour de France for the third time in four years..
The other six UCI World Teams that will race are BMC Racing, IAM Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Team Lotto NI, Jumbo and Tinkoff-Saxo.
Those nine, plus MTN Qhubeka, have been in action in the Tour de France, winning 13 of the 21 stages.
ONE Pro Cycling, Team WIGGINS and Cult Energy will make their Aviva Tour of Britain debut.
The teams will line up with six-rider squads in Beuamaris on Anglesey for Stage One on Sunday, September 6.
On Wednesday, September 9, they will enter Northumberland from Scotland and travel south to the stage finish at Blyth.
“This is undoubtedly the strongest line-up of teams to have appeared in the Aviva Tour of Britain,” said race director Mick Bennett.
“The Aviva Tour of Britain presents a fantastic opportunity for British fans to see what will be the best line-up of teams and riders to race in this country this year.”
Nigel Walsh, of Active Northumberland, said: “It is going to be an incredibly exciting sporting event with the world’s best cycle teams.”