Some of the biggest names in cycling will be taking to the streets of Stoke-on-Trent when The Tour of Britain returns to the city for the sixth consecutive year.

The City Centre will be the start point for competitors racing in the fourth stage of The Tour of Britain, the country’s biggest cycling race, on Wednesday, September 18.

Stage Four of the race will start in Stoke-on-Trent before heading west to a finish in Llanberis in the heart of Snowdonia.

There will be a minimum of 16 professional teams from around the world taking part in The Tour of Britain and around 100 of the world’s top cyclists, which in previous years have included the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Ivan Basso and Thor Hushovd. Details of the route the riders will take in the city before they head to the finish line in North Wales will be revealed nearer to the time.

Local cyclists will also be given the chance to get involved and ride some of the roads made famous by The Tour of Britain’s Stoke-on-Trent Stage when The Tour Ride returns to Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday, September 1. Last year this event attracted nearly 1,000 amateur riders and is expected to exceed this number in 2013.

On top of The Tour of Britain, the Tour Series will also be returning to Stoke-on-Trent for the fifth time this year. Cyclists Steven Burke and Ed Clancy, who were members of the men's team pursuit squad which won Olympic gold last summer, will be two of the stars of the show at the City Centre race on Tuesday, May 21.

The 1.2 kilometre circuit will see racers in ten of Britain’s top cycling teams start at the Potteries Shopping Centre before embarking on a course which takes in most of City Centre's commercial and retail areas including Town Road, Old Hall Street, Cheapside, Piccadilly and Stafford Street.

Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development, culture and sport, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be once again hosting The Tour of Britain, Tour Series and Tour Ride in our city.

“Team GB had a fantastic Olympic games last summer, particularly in cycling, and I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people who are excited at the prospect of having gold medallists and some of the biggest names in cycling on their doorstep.

“Both events will be shown on television which will help to boost the profile of the city and put it on the map. They are also free to watch, making it a real spectacle for residents to be able to go out and enjoy the action in a real feel-good environment.

“Part of our Mandate for Change is about promoting healthy lives and staging events like these are a big part of achieving that.”

On the same day as The Tour Series, the opening round of the Johnson Health Tech GP Series will be staged in the City Centre, Britain’s leading women’s cycle race series.

The Tour Series circuit race is expected to start at 7.30pm and organisers are putting together a packed list of supporting events and entertainment to take place in the City Centre throughout the day.

Previous years have seen 100 schoolchildren ride two laps of the professional circuit and a Corporate Grand Prix which involved local businesses racing against each other on the track and organisers are keen to involve both groups again this year.

Kay Kirkham, nursery teacher and bike it champion at Hillside Primary School, said: “The children had a fantastic time cycling around the circuit and it’s something they still talk about now.

“They also watched The Tour of Britain when it came through the city last year so it’s great to hear both of these events are coming back to the city.”

Tour Series and Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “This year marks the fifth season of The Tour Series, so it is fitting that we are once again returning to Stoke-on-Trent, a venue that has been a part of the series since its inception. Last year the city was a brilliant host for the Grand Final, and we are looking to having another exciting and action packed round for spectators this May.

“We are very pleased to be returning in September with The Tour of Britain, giving residents of the city the chance to see some of the world’s top cyclists, plus the opportunity to get on their bikes in The Tour Ride and sample a Tour stage for themselves.”

Highlights of The Tour Series will once again be screened on ITV4, with the terrestrial home of cycling showing all the action from every round of the series the night after the race, with repeats the following day. The Tour of Britain will also be televised.