Sidmouth to host Tour of Britain
- Credit: Archant
World’s top cyclists also heading to Ottery St Mary and Honiton
Devon will host stage six of The Tour of Britain on Friday, September 9 - with Sidmouth to host the start of the race.
The world’s top cycling teams and riders will race from Sidmouth on the East Devon coast to the summit of Haytor on Dartmoor.
British Cycling’s premier road cycling event will take in Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Willand, Tiverton, Crediton, Moretonhampstead, Haldon Forest, and Chudleigh before climbing from Bovey Tracey to the only summit finish of The Tour.
At 152.7km long and with 3,101metres of climbs, the route is almost a repeat of the thrilling 2013 stage. That year, almost 250,000 spectators lined the county’s roads to help boost the local economy by £5.9m.
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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s (DCC) cabinet member for highways with a remit for cycling, and the member for Sidmouth/Sidford, said: “The Devon Stages in 2013 and 2014 were unforgettable occasions. Record breaking crowds turned out across the county and boosted the local economy by almost £12m.
“This year’s stage promises to provide another great show case for our beautiful county as a premier destination for cycling tourism.
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“We’re proud that Devon will be a key feature of the race, providing the only summit finish of the 2016 Tour and organisers were so impressed with the atmosphere and organisation of the Sidmouth start in 2013 that they didn’t hesitate in wanting to return.
“Thanks must also go to East Devon and Teignbridge District Councils and Sidmouth Town Council for their financial support towards the event.”
It will be the ninth time in ten years the Tour has visited Devon with the county hosting starts and finishes annually between 2009 and 2014.
Over the past eight Devon stages, around 1.25million people have watched the race bringing in around £33m to the local economy.
Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio holder for the Environment, said: “East Devon’s stunning Jurassic Coast, which is a designated World Heritage Site, is a fantastic platform for showcasing the best of our beautiful district. People can enjoy the spectacle of top class professional cyclists battling for position, against a backdrop of our wonderful countryside and historic towns and villages.”
Mick Bennett, race director, said: “The return of the Tour of Britain to Devon after a year away has been much anticipated and we look forward to reacquainting the teams and riders with the summit finish at Haytor that proved so popular in 2013. The climb will once again be a key moment in this year’s route, and coming again on a Friday afternoon, is going to see thousands of cycling fans descending upon Dartmoor to witness the drama first-hand.
“We have worked with our partners at Devon County Council to create a route that is challenging for the riders, picturesque for the worldwide television pictures and takes in a number of towns and communities to bring the Tour of Britain to as many fans as possible.”
The Tour of Britain will begin in Glasgow on Sunday, September 4, and finish in the heart of London on Sunday, September 11, including stages in the Lake District, Wales and Bath and Bristol.
For the fifth successive year, fans can look forward to enjoying daily live coverage of all eight stages on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.
The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.