Sidmouth traders back Tour of Britain

Put out your flags for cycle race says Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce

TRADERS in Sidmouth are being asked to join in the spirit of next Tuesday’s Tour of Britain cycle race by putting up flags and bunting throughout the town.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce business breakfast on Wednesday, chairman Richard Eley encouraged them to get behind the event, whose route passes through Sidmouth for the first time and Sidbury for the second year running.

The Chamber, Sidmouth and District Hospitality Association and Sidmouth Cycling Club will man a refreshments gazebo half way up Peak Hill, one of the main King of the Mountain challenges to riders.

Mr Eley said Sidmouth Cricket Club had released its pitch for parking and Sidmouth Lifeboat crew will stage a rescue demonstration.

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As part of the festivities, a gig race could also be held.

Businesses and homes based along the route will have restricted access from 12.45pm until 1.30pm due to rolling road closures. There will be the need to close all side roads from Sidford Cross to All Saints Road during the race.

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Cyclists will sprint down the Esplanade at around 1pm, going towards Peak Hill after coming from Sidbury and through the town centre.

There will be plenty of places for spectators to watch the two stages in Devon and Somerset, hosted by both county councils.

Riders will cover 216 miles (347kms) over two days – Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14-15.

Some of the world’s leading cycling outfits are among the 17 teams competing, including top riders Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, Andre Greipel and Heinrich Haussler.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “The South West stages of The Tour cover a huge amount of the region over the two days, so there’s an amazing choice of locations and places to visit if you’re interested in seeing some of the race.

“The start and finish locations always seem to have a real buzz about them, but there is plenty going on other parts of the routes which should generate an incredible atmosphere.

“Whether people choose to turn out in their local town or village, or travel to watch one of the King of the Mountains climbs or a sprint, we want to make sure the crowds enjoy the excitement and give the riders plenty of encouragement.”

The sprint from Honiton to Sidmouth starts at 12.48, with riders reaching Sidmouth at around 1.06pm. Traders have been asked to consider limiting deliveries and other activities during this time.

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