Velo North – a massive, closed-road cycling event in the North Pennines – is to start and finish outside Durham Cathedral, it has been announced.

The event – the first of its kind to be held in the north of England – will take place on Sunday 1st September 2019.

Velo North – which will include 100-mile and 50-mile rides on completely closed roads – will see up to 15,000 cyclists riding across spectacular countryside and through picturesque towns and villages.

The event will be fronted by the Velo Series ambassador and ex-England rugby captain Martin Johnson CBE, who is a keen cyclist.

Prostate Cancer UK has been confirmed as the lead charity partner of Velo North. It is hoped that Velo North will raise over £250,000 for the charity.

The race is open to riders of all abilities. Those interested in taking part should pre-register by midnight on Wednesday 6th March. On Thursday 7th March, entries will then open on a first-come-first-served basis to all those who have pre-registered. The demand for places is expected to be very high.

Participants will also have the opportunity to enter through Velo North’s charity partner, Prostate Cancer UK. In addition, there is a Velo North Business100 entry option, which enables companies to combine participation in the race with exclusive training events and networking opportunities.

As well as the cycling races, a wide range of community events and activities will be put on, aimed at getting people interested in cycling and leading healthier lifestyles.

It is hoped that the arrival of thousands of riders and spectators from all over the UK will boost County Durham’s economy and profile, and that local businesses and a number of local charities will benefit from the event.

Martin Johnson CBE – who will himself ride in Velo North – said, “As a cycling fanatic, it’s hugely exciting to see another closed-road sportive come to the UK.”

“Opportunities to ride on closed roads are incredibly rare and having ridden the inaugural Velo Birmingham, I know first-hand how exhilarating the experience can be.”

“I can’t wait to be one of 15,000 riders lining up in Durham City Centre on Sunday September 1st.”

“My advice to anyone who is tempted to enter but is doubting their ability to complete 50 or 100 miles would be just to take the plunge and go for it! I speak from experience when I say that with the right training these are definitely achievable goals and the feeling when you cross the finish line will be worth all the hard work.”

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, Cllr Ossie Johnson, said, “In a year in which we are celebrating the power of culture and sport to revitalise communities and bring people together through the #Durham19 campaign, we are delighted to be a part of the Velo series.”

“Velo North is not only a fantastic opportunity to showcase the beautiful and varied landscapes that exist within County Durham, but it will bring significant economic benefits to our region.”

“I would encourage anyone thinking about taking part to register their interest now to avoid disappointment.”

The CEO of the Velo series, Mark Whitehead, said, “The passion for cycling in the north of England is incredible and – as a northerner myself – I couldn’t be more proud and excited that we are bringing a closed-road event to the region.”

“The combination of this beautiful cathedral city and the phenomenal surrounding countryside makes County Durham the perfect venue for an event of this scale.”

You can also follow Velo North on Twitter at or on Facebook atélo-North-210512256567896/.

(Featured image courtesy of shirokazan from Flickr Creative Commons)

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  1. i think you need to make your residents aware of the downside of this event – road closures for 10 to 12 hours, meaning no parking – huge detours, small businesses on the route having to close due to no access – staff not being able to get to and from work, refer to a facebook page called stop velo south. people not being able to get to stables to look after animals, we had residents who reply on daily health care again no access – we had a major route closed where our A & E Hospital was, the list is endless and the organisers did not give a shit and the leader of West Sussex county council did not appreciate residents concerns. in the end bad weather meant the event was cancelled

  2. Nobody seems to have rebutted your comment, Ian.

    I have just found out about Velo North and can now look forward to 10,000 plus cyclist hurling down the steep hill past our house at ridiculous scpeeds, so we won’t be able to take the dog to his normal exercise places, let alone go to visit anyone. How are people who have prearranged events, like returning from holiday, supposed to manage?
    I think these people put all the arrangements in place, promise tens of thousands of pounds to charities and publicise the events in the specialist press before they publipcise it generally. This make it more dificult for “kill joys” like us to oppose it. Clever – but not very democratic. But then £40 entry fee times 15,000 people equals a lot of money and that’s what matters.


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