Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish coming to Sidmouth for Tour of Britain
- Credit: Archant
Town will be showcased to worldwide audience of millions
Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish will be among the top riders coming to Sidmouth for the Tour of Britain next month.
The town will be showcased to a worldwide television audience of millions when it plays host to the start of stage six of the country’s most prestigious cycle race in just three weeks time.
Some of the top riders have now been confirmed for the tour – which passes through Ottery St Mary and Honiton - and it will be the first event for Mark Cavendish since his achievement at the Rio Olympics.
Thousands of spectators are expected to turn out on Friday. September 9, to see the Olympic silver medallist, who will be joined by top sprinter André Greipel and former Union Cycliste International World Hour Record holder Rohan Dennis.
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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s (DCC) highways boss, said: “The tour is a great occasion for all of the communities it passes through and people in Devon always embrace this colourful spectacle. We have seen the popularity of cycling in Devon grow ever since the county first featured in the race.
“We witnessed an incredible Devon stage in 2013 between Sidmouth and Haytor and everyone involved in the tour was blown away by the amount of support along the route.
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“Spectators in Devon will get to see some of the world’s best professional cyclists. We’re expecting another exciting stage and with two of the world’s best sprinters in Greipel and Cavendish, coupled with the only summit finish at Haytor, we could be treated to a truly great stage.
“Hopefully we’ll attract huge crowds again to show a global audience what makes Devon such a special place to visit.”
The race will be shown live on both ITV4 and the Bike Channel UK, with an additional one-hour highlights programme due to be aired on ITV4 each day.
Devon has so far featured in the Tour of Britain more times than any other venue outside London and this will be the ninth occasion the county plays host to the prestigious race.
East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Councillor Iain Chubb said: “We’re expecting thousands of people to come to Sidmouth to watch the start of the race.
“It’s going to be an extraordinary event particularly coming so soon after the Olympics where all eyes were on our skilled cyclists who struck gold so many times.
“This is a fantastic line-up for the Devon leg of the Tour of Britain. These are top class cyclists and they will undoubtedly prove a great inspiration to us all, but especially, they are role models for young cyclists, looking to following in their tracks.
“Best of all, we will have world class athletes competing right on our doorstep and it’s free to watch.
“Not only will the race be a great boost to our local economy, but East Devon is sure to get plenty of TV coverage both nationwide and globally too.”