Tour of Britain is a hit in Sidmouth

SIDMOUTH turned out in force for the Tour of Britain cycling bonanza on Tuesday.

Thousands of residents and visitors packed the town and lined its streets as cyclists raced through Sidbury down the High Street, then took part in a sprint down the Esplanade before struggling up Peak Hill.

Couple David and Karen James were like many who pitched up on the Esplanade hours before the cyclists whizzed by.

“You don’t get something like this on your doorstep everyday,” said David, 64, “It’s exciting, Sidmouth and the sea front is the perfect setting.”

“We’ll be watching the highlights on television later,” added Karen., 62.

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Devon County Council’s (DCC) highways chief Stuart Hughes played a key part in bringing the race to his hometown. He spent two days with the cycling officer “going round the whole route.” He said Tuesday’s excitement in Simouth “was the icing on the cake”, and added: “Hopefully businesses will reap the benefits of the numbers we saw.”

They wouldn’t have been disappointed as Sidmouth’s seafront was featured in ITV 4’s highlights show.

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Organisers said the gruelling second South West stage from Minehead to Teignmouth lived up to its billing as the toughest route in the race.

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