BBC Newcastle’s Alfie Joey unveiled as regional ambassador for Vélo North, as organisers announce official 100-mile and 50-mile route across region

Taking place on Sunday September 1, delivered in collaboration with Durham County Council, Vélo North will see thousands of riders of all abilities and their supporters descend on County Durham for this new closed road cycling sportive - the only event of its kind in the region.

The Breakfast Show presenter said: “It’s my absolute pleasure to get behind Vélo North and formally support the event. It’s a great thing for our region and certainly helps to raise our profile in the sporting arena – it’s going to be like the Great North Run but on two wheels!

“For anyone who listens into the radio show, they’ll know I’m a keen cyclist.

“While I’m not quite fit enough to take part in this year’s event, I’ll be there on the day cheering on the cyclists at the start line. The buzz in the lead up to the event has been amazing and it’ll be palpable on the day – I can’t wait.”

At the heart of Vélo North is the option for riders to cycle a 100 mile or 50 mile route – all on totally closed roads. Ahead of the official route announcement, organisers of Vélo North sent ex-England rugby captain and Vélo Series Ambassador, Martin Johnson CBE, along with former professional cyclist, David Millar, to ride the 100 mile route and capture the experience in an enthralling video designed to demonstrate some of the unmissable features of the event.

Starting in Durham city centre in the shadows of Durham Cathedral, all riders will set off and head towards the picturesque village of Lanchester to the North West of the city. Here, cyclists will separate off according to the route they’re taking, with 100 mile riders continuing on towards Stanhope and St John’s Chapel, following the route in an anti-clockwise direction.

Riders on the 100-mile route will then make their way through the spectacular North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, passing through Langdon Beck, Forest-in-Teesdale, Newbiggin, Middleton-in-Teesdale, and Hamsterley.

Meanwhile, after leaving their 100 mile counterparts at Lanchester, cyclists embarking on the 50 mile route will make their way south through County Durham passing Cornsay Colliery, Crook and into Bishop Auckland.

Cllr Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “As part of Durham’s year of culture we are looking forward to welcoming cyclists, supporters and spectators to County Durham for Vélo North. A cycling event of this scale has never been held in the north of England before, so we are honoured to be a part of history in the making .

“The sportive will not only showcase the varied and beautiful landscapes that our county has to offer, it will bring significant benefits to our economy through the thousands of visitors it will attract to the region. It is a wonderful opportunity for people to stay the weekend in our county and make the most of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Site and much more.”

For more information about the event visit: https://www.velonorth.com