Region enjoys the ride in fantastic weekend of sport; TOUR OF BRITAIN ROUNDS OFF NORTH EAST SPECIAL.
AFTER two days of thrilling racing, the Tour of Britain rolled out of the North East yesterday.
Thousands turned out to watch some of the biggest names in world cycling battle it out on the region's road.
After Sunday's Great North Run and the England's rugby union team defeating Italy at St James' Park on Friday, it capped off a sparkling weekend of sport in the North East.
Yesterday's stage set off from Baltic Square on the Quayside, heading through Gateshead and down into the Weardale countryside ahead of a gruelling 173.2km ride to Kendal, in Cumbria.
The stage was won by the pundits' favourite to win the Tour overall, Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Team Corendon-Circus).
He struggled to make his mark on the previous day's sprint finish on Newcastle's Grey Street but exploded into action on the final stretch of yesterday's stage to claim victory.
Speaking to ITV after his win, he said: "It was a bit of a gamble because I didn't know where the finish line was.
"I got a bit bumped into on the finish line yesterday so went full gas with 300m to go."
The race provided a box office finish in Newcastle on Monday after the riders made their way down the 182.2km route from Berwick and along the coast.
What looked like one the race's more straightforward stages on paper turned out to be anything but after a level crossing caused the proceedings to be stopped, disrupting the rhythm of the race. It allowed a breakaway group of riders who might have expected to be caught sooner to make it all the way to the Quayside before feeling the big name contenders breathing down their necks.
Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) claimed the stage after a thrilling sprint finish up the steep incline into the heart of the city with massive crowds watching on.
People don't to come to us countryside, come to them the cities Matteo Trentin, Speaking to The Chronicle the next morning, the man who started yesterday's stage in the green jersey of the race leader, Matteo Trentin (Team Mitchelton-Scott), was full of praise for the finish in Newcastle. He said: "It was pretty fast, it was a nice finish actually, with that ramp riding up into the city centre. And I have to say, it's a nice city centre. It's nice to go into some beautiful cities over here. People don't have to come to us in the countryside, we come to them in the cities."
He praised the jury for making a "good call" when the race was neutralised following the disruption caused by the level crossing, calming down a race which threatened to descend into chaos.
North of Tyne Combined Authority Mayor Jamie Driscoll was on hand for the award presentation at Monument on Monday.
have in the we in left He said: "The atmosphere was electric, the speed and endurance of these athletes has to be seen to be believed." The Italian Matteo Trentin surrendered his green jersey to van der Poel after two days of hard riding in the North East, slipping into second place. He goes into today's stage in Birkenhead as favourite to win the Tour overall but the race could well be decided in Pershore, Worcestershire, tomorrow when the teams go head to head in a time trial.
Dylan Groenewegen Visma) claimed thrilling the into the next the started stage Authority Driscoll the on People don't have to come to us in the countryside, we come to them in the cities Matteo Trentin, left
Team Jumbo-Vism's Dylan Groenewegen crosses to finishing line to win the stage during stage three of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain from Berwick-Upon-Tweed to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Mathieu van der Poel of Corendon-Circus Cycling Team wins stage 4
The cyclists on the Quayside yesterday
OWEN HUMPHREYS/PA WIRE
Runners cross the Tyne Bridge during the Great North Run
England's Mark Wilson during the International Friendly at St James' Park