Plenty of fun in Sidmouth in lead-up to the Tour of Britain

Bradley Wiggins leads the field away at the start of last year's Devon stage of the Tour of Britain

Bradley Wiggins leads the field away at the start of last year's Devon stage of the Tour of Britain in Sidmouth.. Picture by Alex Walton. - Credit: Archant

There is a whole host of festivities to gear Sidmouth up for the Tour of Britain.

The professional cyclists will not be setting off from the Esplanade until 11.30am on Friday, September 9, but people will be getting on their bikes days before.

The Sunday (September 4) will see a display by unusual contraptions from the Velo Vintage organisers, who staged a full ride in Sidmouth in December. Alistair and Seb Cope will also be out on their penny farthings on the Thursday (September 8), before leading out the riders on the day of the big race.

Live bands will be playing at Dukes on Thursday, September 8, and, along the Esplanade, The Marine will be putting quizzers’ knowledge of cycling to the test.

The Sid Valley Cycling Club (SVCC) will be staging two gentle ride-out evenings, while the chamber of commerce will be holding a shop window competition, with a signed Tour of Britain shirt up for grabs. And on the Thursday, the SVCC has teamed up with British Cycling to stage criterion races through closed town centre roads for men, women and youths. Visit

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On race day, competitors will race 95 miles from the seafront, via Ottery St Mary and Honiton, to the summit of Haytor on Dartmoor.

Once the riders have departed, pupils from 10 to 15 schools will be going head to head in a bike race of their own through The Byes.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon’s highways chief, said: “We learnt what went well and what didn’t go so well back in 2013 [previous tour].

“This year’s programme of events leading up to stage six of the Tour of Britain this year will make Sidmouth the true destination for cyclists and those who may well be inspired to get the cycling bug.”

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