THOUSANDS of spectators lined the streets of Durham to watch the thrills and spills of a fast-paced cycle race.

The city was filled with pumping music, claxons and lots of lycra as the Pearl Izumi tour returned to Durham on Tuesday, May 31 for the seventh time – making it the longest established destination for the series.

Amateurs and professionals alike tackled hairpin bends and sweated their way up Durham’s hills on a challenging circuit to see who would be crowned “king of the cobbles”.

Jon Mould, racing for team JLT Condor, made history after winning the professional race – making it three victories in a row and four wins out of the six stages so far.

Mould, who previously won the Durham stage while racing for a different team in 2014, also became the most successful rider in the tour with nine victories in total.

He took the lead from Tom Stewart, from Team Madison Genesis, in the closing stages after Stewart made a crucial error with his gears on the final ascent up South Street.

In a thrilling finale to the event, which saw cyclists race for an hour before sprinting the final five laps, Teesside rider Harry Tanfield, riding for Pedal Heaven, managed to grab second place.

It was the first time the 20-year-old, from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire, had ridden in the series.

This year Durham is the sixth stop of ten on the tour, which is due to finish in Portsmouth on June 9.

The tough 1.4km route takes in Margery Lane, Crossgate and South Street with the start and finish close to Quarryheads Lane.

Though cold and cloudy, the rain held off to the relief of the cyclists tackling the already tricky route, which sees riders reach speeds of up to 50mph on the downward hills.

While wet weather has in previous years resulted in crashes and pile-ups on the course, this year’s event went off without any hitches.

The entertainment began with warm-up races and fun from 4.45pm with races between the emergency services, and laps from Durham City Velo cycle club, Bishop Auckland Cycle Club, Hetton Hawks and a race between university teams from Durham, Sheffield, York and Derby.

Based on previous year’s experience, the night’s racing is expected to have put thousands of pounds into the local economy.

Oompah Brass, who are playing at the this summer’s Brass festival in the city, also provided entertainment for spectators in Crossgate Peth.