Residents asked for ideas on Tour of Britain in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 18:30 15 May 2013

Archant

Residents and business owners have been urged to help Sidmouth capitalise on the town hosting the start of the Devon stage of the Tour of Britain.

Civic leaders have been playing a lead role in organising events, and town clerk Christopher Holland said they are looking far and wide for inspiration.

The councillors hope shops and hotels will keep reminding tourists that the tour – and possibly the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish – is coming to the town, as ‘it will be September before you know it’.

Speaking to the chamber of commerce on Wednesday, town clerk Christopher Holland said: “It’s one of the biggest events to come to the town ever.

“We want to show Sidmouth in the best possible light.”

He said the Tour of Britain has ‘whizzed’ through in the past, but this year the cyclists will set off from the Esplanade, before going up Fore Street, through Sidford, Sidbury and into Honiton.

It will finish up at Haytor in Dartmoor – the first time a stage has ended in a hill climb.

Mr Holland said the cyclists and their teams will have a more enduring presence than when the Tour passed through the town, as they will be warming up before racing properly when they reach Sidbury.

He added: “There are 60 riders - they can stay here with their teams, families, friends and VIP guests.”

He spoke of putting up themed decorations and having a television screen, possibly on the Ham, in the run-up to the final stage to drum up interest.

But he said that the time to put on events was before the race rather than afterwards, as many visitors were likely to leave as quickly as they arrive.

The cycling club are planning to bring forward their Peak Hill climb, and the chamber of commerce has longstanding plans to hold a classic car show the following day.

How will you be celebrating the race? What events should be put on in the town? Email your ideas to stephen.sumner@archant.co.uk.


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