Some of the best cyclists of the world are set to battle out on the roads in Cumbria today – bringing with them the promise of a substantial boost to the county’s coffers.

Kendal will host what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to stage four of the Tour of Britain on Tuesday afternoon, after the increasingly popular race weaves its way from Gateshead.

The race enters Cumbria on the B6276 above Stainmore and pass through Brough, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale, before finishing with a tough climb up Beast Banks, where 10,000 spectators watched when the town last hosted the race in 2016.

The economic importance of the race has been stressed by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, which has revised and reissued its hugely popular online toolkit to help businesses benefit from the Tour of Britain.

The race brought with it an £11 million boost to Cumbria’s economy when the county hosted two stages last year – the first a Team Time Trial from Cockermouth to Whinlatter and the second a 105-mile jaunt from Barrow to Whinlatter.

According to independently compiled analysis commissioned by Cumbria County Council, 240,000 spectators turned out to watch the stages, while 1.5m viewers watched coverage on ITV4, which is showing the race live on Tuesday as well as an evening highlights programme.

Of those who turned up in person, around 60 per cent had travelled from outside the county, with almost 50 per cent staying overnight. Average spend by overnight visitors s stood at £133.17 per group.

The race’s previous appearance in 2016 generated £5m for the Cumbrian economy.

Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “We know from experience that the Tour brings substantial economic benefits.

“It isn’t only businesses along the route that can profit from the race. The extensive TV coverage is effectively a free advertisement for Cumbria, which should lead to a sustained increase in visitor numbers.”

Its toolkit, which can be accessed here, contains specific advice for retailers, food operators and accommodation providers, including guidance on setting up temporary campsites.

There is information on how businesses can become more cycle-friendly, how they can use social media to engage with cycle fans, how they can encourage visitors to return and how businesses can take advantage of corporate hospitality opportunities on the finish line in Kendal.

The Gateshead to Kendal stage represents the half-way point of this year’s race.

Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen won the opening stage of the race between Glasgow and Kirkcudbright on Saturday, while Italian Matteo Trentin broke British hearts after pulling back a brave solo attempt by Alex Dowsett to cross the finish line first at Kelso on Sunday.

Groenewegen, who rides for the Team Jumbo – Visma Cycling team, made it two wins from three on yesterday’s stage from Berwick to Newcastle, finishing ahead of prodigious talent Mathieu van der Poel, who will be among the favourites to win in Kendal.

This year’s field includes several of the world’s best cyclists despite the clash with the Vuelta a Espana, at which Cumbrian climber James Knox is competing, along with British heavyweights including Manxman Mark Cavendish.

However, 2018 Tour De France winner Geraint Thomas and reigning Tour of Britain champion Julian Alaphilippe are among the other top riders who have decided to sit out the race to focus their efforts on the UCI World Championships, which take place in Yorkshire at the end of the month.