THE Tour of Britain 2019 will head through the heart of Cumbria with a stage finishing in the heart of Kendal.

In what will be a significant boost for the area’s economy, organisers of the UK’s premier cycling race have announced that Stage 4 of this year’s event will run through Brough, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale before finishing with a gruelling climb up Kendal’s Beast Banks.

The event, which is sponsored by OVO Energy, last took that route in 2016, when more than 10,000 spectators packed the town to see a dramatic finish up the steep town centre route.

And the announcement was welcomed by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron who said it was great news for the economy of the area.

“It’s brilliant news that once again the Tour of Britain is returning to the South Lakes,” said Mr Farron.

“This race is the perfect showcase for our beautiful area.

“It will provide a boost to the local tourism economy and it will create a real feel good factor for residents across our area.”

And Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for transport, said the fact one of the country’s main sporting events was coming to the region was great news.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Cumbria will again be hosting the Tour of Britain, especially as the race will be taking in a number of communities in Eden and South Lakeland for the first time,” he said.

“I’m sure this will bring another huge boost to our economy and it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the county’s magnificent landscape and scenery to a worldwide television audience.”

It is the second consecutive year Cumbria has been chosen to co-host the race, and Stage 4 is due to take place on Tuesday, September 10, starting in Gateshead before finishing in South Lakeland.

The stage will like the rest of the race be televised live on ITV4 and will also be watched by millions of television viewers around the world.

Last year Cumbria received an £11m economic benefit from hosting two full stages of The Tour.

And hosting the Tour has an additional key aim of encouraging more people to take up cycling and promoting the sport’s health benefits for young and old alike.

Up to 61 per cent of people who watched the 2018 event in Cumbria said they were inspired to cycle more often.