Sidmouth ‘bowls over’ Tour of Britain bosses

Yellow jersey holder, Sir Bradley Wiggins, peprares to lead the line on the Esplanade. Photo by Harv

Yellow jersey holder, Sir Bradley Wiggins, peprares to lead the line on the Esplanade. Photo by Harvey Gavin. - Credit: Archant

TOUR of Britain organisers were ‘bowled over’ by the welcome Sidmouth gave the event.

Town councillors heard the praise when they discussed the success of the spectacular on September 20, which saw around 13,000 people line the streets.

Coverage of the Devon stage of the race, which began on the seafront, was beamed to 140 countries around the world.

“Organisers were bowled over by Sidmouth. They haven’t seen a start like it. They said Sidmouth made everyone welcome,” said Councillor Stuart Hughes, who played a huge part in bringing the tour to the town.

“It was a huge success.”

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“The tour loved coming to town and I do hope they will be able to come back to Sidmouth.”

Sidmouth Town Council set aside £1,518 for a week of festivities in the run-up to the race itself.

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Sid Valley Cycling Club also organised a criterium race, with cyclists young and old racing round the town the evening before the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish did.

“If one thing came out of the stage starting in Sidmouth, the legacy is the cycling club have said they want that event to be an annual event,” said Cllr Hughes.

“The next Wiggins, Cavendish or Victoria Pendleton were racing around the streets of our town,” he added of young people participating.

Members heard how Sidmouth College principal Kenny Duncan said the tour had ‘inspired and motivated young people to pursue the sport’.

Cllr Simon Pollentine said he did not hear an ‘unkind word’ about the event, adding that it was a ‘fantastic effort’.

Councillors reserved special praise for the ‘massive input’ Mr Hughes had in bringing the tour to the town and thanked him.

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