Sidmouth praised after Tour of Britain bonanza

THOUSANDS of people who turned out in Sidmouth to watch last week’s Tour of Britain cycling bonanza did the town proud, say race organisers.

Peak Hill was singled out as crowds who cheered on the South West stage of the tour were hailed “the most fanatical supporters in the country.”

Organisers and riders said they were staggered by the amount of people who lined the route.

Hugh Roberts, chief executive of The Tour of Britain, said: “There must have been thousands and thousands of people on the streets, all along the route. And the crowds at Peak Hill – I have never seen anything like it anywhere, ever.”

“It’s particularly gratifying to see the number of schoolchildren that turned out to be part of the occasion.”

Early indications suggest more than 250,000 people turned out to watch the Minehead to Teignmouth route that passed through Sidmouth and Sidbury.

Sidmouth Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “We can all take great pride in the support shown. I’m sure local businesses will have benefited from visitors to our region.

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“We are determined to make Devon a premier destination for cycle tourism, and we must be doing something right when you see that our crowds, and stages in the South West, have been the highlight of The Tour.”