Tour of Britain to return to Devon - and stage will start in Cranbrook
PUBLISHED: 07:20 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 07:20 16 May 2018
The UK's biggest cycle race, The Tour of Britain, is returning to East Devon.
Stage two of the race will take place on Monday, September 3, starting in Cranbrook and finishing in Barnstaple, North Devon.
The Herald understands the tour will travel through ‘several East Devon communities’, but these will not be confirmed until the national launch of the race in June.
It will be the 10th time in 12 years the tour has visited Devon with the county hosting starts and finishes annually from 2009 - 2014 and in 2016.
The tour was last in Sidmouth in 2016 and 2013, when it hosted the start of the Devon stage on both occasions.
Host Devon County Council (DCC) says this year’s race will mean another massive boost to Devon’s economy. Independent economic reports estimate that the race has generated around £37million of extra spending over the past nine Devon stages, with around 1.5 million people lining the county’s roads to watch.
This year’s Devon stage will start in Cranbrook, opposite St Martin’s Primary School. It will be the first time the town has ever hosted a global or national sporting event.
The race will conclude in Barnstaple, on The Strand, alongside the River Taw.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for highways management with a remit for cycling, said: “The last two Devon stages were unforgettable occasions. Record-breaking crowds turned out across the county and boosted the local economy by almost £11milllion.
“Now it returns to Devon after a year’s break. Organisers were so impressed with the atmosphere and organisation of the previous Devon stages they didn’t hesitate in wanting to return.
“Devon is such a beautiful county and when it comes to considering routes we were spoilt for choice.
“This year we have decided to take a different route, starting in the UK’s newest town Cranbrook and returning to North Devon for the first time since 2012, that year’s stage start.
“We’re proud that Devon will again be a key feature of the race, which promises to provide another great international show case for Devon as a premier destination for cycling tourism.”