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The UK’s most prestigious cycle race will make a spectacular return to the North East this year.
It has been confirmed today that two bids to bring the world’s top cyclists back to the region in September have been successful.
The third leg of the Tour of Britain will be staged across a picturesque route through Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle - including a dramatic city centre finish.
Then stage four of the race will start on the Gateshead Quayside the following day as part of a route that will also pass the world famous Angel of the North.
Hosting a double bill of the country's premier professional cycling race is a major coup for the region's leaders.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “This is great news - I’m really looking forward to the Tour of Britain coming to the North of Tyne.

Disgruntled parents have not been given a choice on a potential move from a three-tier to a two-tier educational system in a Northumberland town, an MP has warned.
Northumberland County Council has agreed to carry out a consultation on Whitley Memorial CE First School and Bedlington West End First School extending their age ranges from September 2020.
The Bedlington Partnership is predominantly a two-tier system of primaries and secondaries, while these two first schools and Meadowdale [Middle] Academy remain as a three-tier set-up.
Bedlington Academy and St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy will only accept Year 7 pupils from September 2020, and Meadowdale is now consulting on becoming a primary from this September.
These circumstances could see the complete abandonment of the three-tier system, and Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck, says parents have been "denied the opportunity" to oppose the potential move.
Mr Lavery said: “We all understand the pressures that have been placed on all schools due to central Government cuts with those in Bedlington losing more than £1m in real terms from their budgets since 2015.

One person has been rushed to hospital after flames ripped through the roof of a Northumberland home.
Emergency services were scrambled to the scene of the house fire on Rowlington Terrace, Ashington , on Wednesday evening.
Neighbours gathered in the street with one onlooker suggesting flames stretched 20ft into the sky.
Michael Watson, 69, said: "It was my neighbour who come along and told me the house was on fire.
"The flames were 20ft at least. There was a lot of people out in the street.
"This is the quietest area in the world, a lovely place to live.

Northumberland County Council's bid for a new caravan and camping site at Druridge Bay Country Park has been given the green light.
The proposals, for a plot to the south of Ladyburn Lake, were approved by eight votes to two by the North Northumberland Local Area Council this week.
The scheme had attracted 35 objections from residents - and three letters of support - while East Chevington Parish Council was opposed to what it described as 'simply commercialisation of public land', but no objectors spoke against the application at Tuesday's (May 21) meeting.
The planning officer's report said that camping provision was specifically included in the provision when the park was created in 1983, before opening to the public three years later.
It adds that the area in question continues to be used for camping to this day, but 'due to the modern popularity of caravans/camper-vans, the current set-aside area is no longer considered fit for purpose.'
Coun Jeff Watson said: "It's quite obvious that the area we are talking about is already used for this purpose at various times.

Newcastle’s two universities have taken two of the top three slots in a national table ranking businesses started by its graduates.
The city’s reputation as a breeding ground for budding entrepreneurs has been boosted after Northumbria University topped the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS) for the third year running, while Newcastle University was ranked third.
The survey said businesses started by Northumbria University start-ups had a combined turnover of £81.5m, while Newcastle’s were worth £40.3m. They were separated only by Edinburgh University, with Northumbria maintaining top spot from last year and Newcastle moving up from fifth.
Graduates from the two universities have started award-winning businesses that include Noveltea, which turned down investment from Dragons’ Den and then made four times as much through crowdfunding, and the Teashed, whose MD Jules Quinn was named on Forbes’ list of top European young entrepreneurs.
Lucy Winskell, pro vice-chancellor for employability and partnerships at Northumbria, said: “Northumbria has now been ranked the top university in the UK for graduate start-ups for five out of the past six years, which is an exceptional achievement.
“We are extremely proud of our entrepreneurial students and graduates and the significant contribution their businesses are making to employment and economic growth.

Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain Jamie's Italian has appointed administrators, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk.
The business said it had appointed KPMG to oversee the process, with a more detailed announcement expected later on Tuesday.
Mr Oliver said: "I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade. I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.
"I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it's been a real pleasure serving you.
"We launched Jamie's Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that."
It follows a hunt for a new investor in the brand, with a number of private equity firms touted as mulling bids for a stake in the business.

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