Ready for a gruelling day, cyclists lined up to take on the roads in Cumbria for stage six in the Tour of Britain.

Hundreds of people lined the streets from early in the morning waiting to see if they could some of their favourite cyclists.

Waving and cheering people couldn’t help but be excited about the start.

The riders were introduced on the main stage and the crowd whoop and hollered as the elite athletes waved to the fans.

Among the highlights, following the departure from Devonshire Walk in Carlisle at 10.45am, are the fast sprints expected at Motherby around 11.43am and in Penrith at about 12.20pm.

King of the Mountain climbs at Hartside at 12.50pm, or Killhope Cross at 1.13pm on the border between the Pennines and County Durham, are also likely to attract fans.

It is a third consecutive appearance for Cumbria on the UK’s biggest cycling event, with only London having welcomed the Tour of Britain on more occasions.

The warm and muggy morning didn’t put people off and Mark Donovan, from Penrith, representing Team DSM in the competition couldn’t wait to cycle by his home. The 22-year-old said it will be “really nice to see everyone out there” but is expecting a “hard day” of racing.

Mark Cavendish, without a doubt one of the biggest draws for the crowd, says it is “always nice in Cumbria” and “close to home” ­— and is just happy that the weather is okay, for now!

Cavendish said: “It’s always nice to be in Cumbria, it’s close to home. I’ve done a lot of riding in the lakes and it’s great providing it’s not raining.

“I’ve done this for the past 15 years, I remember when it was just starting off and it’s still great to see all the people out supporting us.”

Managing director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said: “What makes this year particularly special for viewers and visitors watching Stage 6 of the cycle race is they will be treated to the dramatic contrasts of the historic border city of Carlisle and Eden, an area that boasts the spectacular lake and mountains of Ullswater, Penrith and the moorlands of the North Pennines.

“Cumbria is the natural home of outdoor adventure, and we know that, now more than ever, wide open spaces are essential for people’s physical and mental wellbeing.”

Arriving at the event bright and early was Howard and Rebecca Cain, who are big fans of cycling. The couple from Carlisle said: “We’ve been to everyone, it’s brilliant to be here we wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

County Councillor Deborah Earl was excited to be at the event she said: “It’s fantastic, the atmosphere is amazing. We waited quite a while for it to be here.

“It’s great to have it here we have been lucky really. It’s been here a few times. But, I think after the pandemic and everything that has gone on it’s great to see everyone here enjoying themselves.”

More support came for Christine Davison from Scotby. She said: “It’s brilliant to be here.

“We have been following it all, we even cycled down. We have been and watched it lots of time, but have never been to the start of a stage before it’s great.”

The cyclists completed the stage at the Angel of The North and Wout Van Aert of Belgium won stage six of the Tour of Britain after a battle in the last few kilometres of the stage.