CYCLISTS taking part in a ride passing through seven countries made a pit stop in the region yesterday.

Mayor of Middlesbrough Patricia Walker welcomed the group at the Bottle of Notes as they stopped en route to Hartlepool during the North Sea Cycle Route.

Starting from Hamburg, the route covers 5,500 miles, encircling the North Sea and ending in Aberdeen. Participants can join in any section of the journey, which takes advantage of established paths, and those on the final leg are expected to finish on June 23.

Six cyclists were joined for the Middlesbrough-Billingham-Seaton Carew route by local cycling enthusiasts.

Coun Walker said: "I am particularly pleased that this ride is passing through Middlesbrough as we have a commitment to supporting alternative forms of transport."

The cyclists will ride from Hartlepool to Sunderland today, then from Sunderland to South Shields, South Shields to Tynemouth and Tynemouth to Alnmouth.

Details are available on the website