Town urged to put on a real show when Tour of Britain comes to Ottery

The world's best cyclists will pass through Ottery on September 3.

The world's best cyclists will pass through Ottery on September 3. - Credit: Archant

There is no time to waste in ensuring Ottery puts on a real show for visitors and riders when the Tour of Britain returns in September, say local organisers.

The race’s 113-mile Devon route was announced at the national launch in London on Tuesday, following news last month its second stage would begin in Cranbrook.

Ottery featured in the 2016 tour and will once again be a designated King of the Mountain climb as riders approach Chineway Hill.

A working group from the town has had to keep the secret for nearly a year and now hopes the town will go all out once again by weeding, putting up floral displays, bunting and welcome signs ahead of the big day on September 3.

Councillor Josefina Gori, who chairs of the working group organising the festivities, said: “From the moment the Tour of Britain first came to Ottery St Mary, the town has not stopped being in the hearts and mind of those who designed the tour’s route for 2018. Few towns can boast having the tour visiting it within the space of two years.

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“We at the working group won’t waste any time and will start planning soon. We hope to have the same support we had in 2016 from businesses, residents, organisations and anybody who would like to get involved. We need to make Ottery a real showpiece, as many fans of the tour will descent on the town that day and the television will be broadcasting every step of the stage.”

The route will start from Cranbrook and head into Ottery and Honiton before travelling out to North Devon, ending in Barnstaple.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, county council cabinet member for highways management, said: “Devon is synonymous with the tour - this will be the 12th time in 10 years it has come to Devon and each and every time the crowds have been treated to a thrilling stage and something different.”

The world’s best cycling teams have been invited to attend the event, with the final list to be announced from July 16.

Devon County Council is hosting the race, supported by North Devon Council, East Devon District Council, Barnstaple and Cranbrook town councils. The Ottery working group has set up a new Facebook page to chart its progress - search Ottery St Mary Devon Stage Tour of Britain for more.

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