Devon stage of Tour of Britain – Sidmouth to Haytor – to make history
By ExmouthPeople | Thursday, March 21, 2013, 21:19
THE DEVON stage of this year's Tour of Britain will make history with the cycle race's first summit finish. Stage six will start in Sidmouth on Friday 20 September and will finish on Haytor in Dartmoor's National Park. It will be the first time a stage has finished with a SKODA King of the Mountains climb in the modern era of the race...
Last year's Tour Of Britain coming through Devon. This year's Devon leg will start in Sidmouth and will finish on Haytor with the cycle race's first summit finish
Details of the Devon stage have now been confirmed. It will start on the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sidmouth and will cover around 85 miles (137 km) of the county before finishing with a testing climb at Haytor in Dartmoor National Park.
The route will also see 96 of the world's top cyclists race through Honiton, Willand, Tiverton, Stoke Canon, Exeter, Starcross, Chudleigh, Moretonhampstead and Bovey Tracey before the challenging climax in Dartmoor National Park.
Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC's Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "It's fantastic news that stage six of September's race will be starting in Sidmouth on the Jurassic coastline and passing through Honiton on its way to a finish on Dartmoor.
"This will give the people of East Devon and our visitors a fantastic spectacle to enjoy as world-class riders bring the colour and the excitement of international cycling to one of our coastal resorts and also to one of our market towns."
It will be the seventh consecutive year that The Tour has visited Devon. In that time the organisers say it has brought in more than £21 million to the local economy and showcased the county to a worldwide audience. It's believed that last year the race generated more than £7.3 million in Devon.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "2012 was an incredible year for cycling and the best ever Tour of Britain played a key part in that. The crowds that turned out across Devon were truly amazing and we take great pride in comparisons with The Tour de France.
"The growing number of spectators and worldwide TV audience makes The Tour of Britain the perfect platform to showcase Devon as a premier destination for cycling tourism, and we are seeing more and more people cycling in our county.
"With The Tour marking ten years of its modern era, what better way to celebrate than with a stage that not only breaks new ground with a gruelling mountain-top finish at Haytor, but also illustrates everything our county has to offer; from our internationally renowned Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site at the stage start in Sidmouth, to our beautiful market towns and the historic city of Exeter, before reaching the rugged beauty of Dartmoor National Park.
"We will be hoping to attract record crowds again this year and hopefully when people see what our county has to offer, whether they're watching on TV or from the roadside, it will encourage them to visit in future."
Last year's record Tour saw more than 220,000 spectators line the route from Barnstaple to Dartmouth. They roared on Devon rider Jonathan Tiernan Locke who was wearing the IG Gold Jersey in the county on his way to becoming the first Briton to win the race overall. The crowds were also treated to seeing Britain's Mark Cavendish racing in the rainbow stripes as the then reigning world champion, although the stage was won by Euskaltel Euskadi's Pablo Urtasun.
The Tour last raced through Sidmouth in 2010 and Haytor featured as a SKODA King of the Mountains climb in 2011 when Jonathan Tiernan Locke dominated the climbs and went on to win the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey.
Among the world-class teams which have been revealed to be competing in the 2013 Tour are Sky Professional Cycling Team, Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, Garmin - Sharp, Vaconsoleil DCM, Cannondale and Orica GreenEDGE. Full details on the final line-up of teams for The Tour of Britain will be announced in the summer.
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of The Tour organisers SweetSpot Group, said: "The 2013 Tour is a special occasion marking ten years of the race, and it is fitting that we will see the drama of a mountain top finish for the first time. Devon always provides a picturesque setting for exciting and tough racing. We always receive tremendous support from the crowds in Devon and have seen spectator numbers growing on the climbs on Dartmoor over the past few years, so this stage will provide a unique atmosphere."
At the national launch of the 2013 Tour in Covent Garden it was revealed that the race would start in Peebles in Scotland on Sunday 15 September and finish in London on Sunday 22 September.