Olympic stars head to Devon

OLYMPIC champions from Great Britain s cycling team will be competing in the Tour of Britain, which comes to Devon and Somerset on Tuesday 9 September.

OLYMPIC champions from Great Britain's cycling team will be competing in the Tour of Britain, which comes to Devon and Somerset on Tuesday 9 September.

Beijing Olympic gold medal winners Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, and bronze medal winner Chris Newton will be joined by Mark Cavendish, the only Briton to win four stages of the Tour de France in a single year.

Devon County Council is supporting the south west stage which is expected to be the toughest of the entire Tour. It will set off from Chard in Somerset before crossing into Devon and passing through Tiverton, South Molton and a gruelling King of the Mountains climb at North Molton as it heads on to Exmoor and onto the finish in Burnham-on-Sea. The picturesque route passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Exmoor National Park and includes three E.ON King of the Mountain challenges.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "British cycling is on top of the world after an incredibly successful Olympics, so the Tour of Britain comes at the best possible time. The race is the perfect way to celebrate that success and it's an opportunity for people in Devon to see our Olympic champions up close and to cheer them on."

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Councillor Alvin Horsfall, Somerset County Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: "The Great Britain Olympic Team has set a new standard for competitive cycling. It will be great for residents and visitors to see the stars of the Olympics competing in Somerset. Last year the race attracted over 70,000 spectators and we hope the recent success of British cycling will attract even more crowds this year."

The south west stage of the Tour of Britain is being hosted by Somerset County Council with the support of Devon County Council, South Somerset District Council, Exmoor National Park Authority and the South West Regional Development Agency.

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The eight day race which starts in London on 7 September and finishes in Liverpool on 14 September will be televised daily on ITV4.

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