Tour of Britain organisers ‘didn’t hesitate’ in choosing Sidmouth
- Credit: Archant
Scores of the world’s top riders to set off from seaside town and through the heart of Ottery St Mary
Sidmouth will take centre stage when the nation’s top road cycling race - The Tour of Britain - returns to Devon later this year.
The town will once again welcome the world’s best teams and riders after it was picked as the starting point of stage six of the event on Friday, September 9.
Organisers ‘didn’t hesitate’ in picking the resort for the honour after they were so impressed with the atmosphere and organisation it showed as host in 2013.
Then, thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on stars such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish as the community celebrated with a week of cycling-related festivities.
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Devon County Council (DCC) revealed today that stage six of this year’s tour will see competitors race from Sidmouth, via Ottery St Mary and Honiton, to the summit of Haytor on Dartmoor.
The 95-mile route is almost a repeat of the thrilling 2013 stage, which attracted a record-breaking 250,000 spectators county-wide and helped boost the local economy by £5.9million.
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Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for highways with a remit for cycling and representative for Sidmouth/Sidford, said the Devon stage two-and-a-half years ago was ‘an unforgettable occasion’, adding: “This year’s stage promises to provide another great showcase for our beautiful county as a premier destination for cycling tourism. 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.”
He thanked the district council and Sidmouth Town Council for their financial support towards the event.
The Sidmouth part of the race looks set to start on The Esplanade, turn up Fore Street and High Street, up Radway and Vicarage Road, Temple Street, Arcot Road and Woolbrook Road, before heading onto the A3052 and to The Bowd, before turning off towards Ottery.
From Sidmouth Road in Ottery, cyclists will head down Tip Hill, along Jesu Street, Yonder Street, up Chineway Road and Chineway Hill before heading off to Honiton.
Cllr Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “East Devon’s stunning Jurassic Coast 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. We have worked with our partners at DCC 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 London on Sunday, September 11.
Fans can look forward to enjoying live coverage and highlights on ITV4.