The Tour of Britain Comes to Dartmouth
The Tour of Britain Comes to Dartmouth
The Tour of Britain comes to Dartmouth on Saturday 15th September and thousands of spectators are expected to turn out for the penultimate stage of the race.
Devon County Council will host Stage Seven of this year’s Tour and as one of the toughest stages over the eight day race, organisers believe Devon could prove decisive in who wins the IG Markets Gold Jersey overall.
The Devon Stage will cover 106 miles (170.7km) of the county, starting in Barnstaple and heading through Dartmoor National Park on its way to the spectacular finish on Dartmouth’s Embankment.
Team Sky, who boast Britain’s first ever Tour de France Yellow Jersey winner Bradley Wiggins and road race World Champion Mark Cavendish among its ranks, will be competing in The Tour. They will be joined by six other British teams - Endura Racing, Team IG–Sigma Sport, Rapha Condor, Team Raleigh–GAC, Node4–Giordana Racing, and Team UK Youth.
Other international squads include Liquigas – Cannondale, who have named former Giro d’Italia winner Ian Basso in their provisional line-up, Garmin Sharp, Orica Greenedge, Vacansoleil DCM, Team NetApp, United Healthcare Pro Cycling, and AN Post Sean Kelly.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “We are the only South West stage in The Tour this year so hopefully spectators from Somerset, Cornwall and Dorset, as well as further afield, will make the journey to Devon to watch the race. Last year was the first time that we had hosted a complete stage in the county and it was a great success – and as we’re the penultimate stage this year we could see the race won or lost in Devon.
“The race will cover almost the entire length of the county, from north to south, which is great news for our local communities and our local economy. Following hot on the heels of the Olympic Games, I’m sure there will be even more excitement about this year’s Tour and it should attract huge numbers of spectators who will have a chance to see why we’re a premier destination for cycling tourism.”
South Hams District Council and Dartmouth Town Council are working closely with Devon County Council on the Devon Stage.
Councillor Jonathan Hawkins, County Councillor for Dartmouth and South Hams District Councillor, said: “We are very much looking forward to the Tour of Britain coming to Dartmouth, it is a very important event and we will give everyone a BIG Dartmouth welcome.”
Mayor of Dartmouth, Councillor Paul Allen, added: “We feel privileged to host the finish of this year’s Devon Stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race and on behalf of the Community we welcome all visitors and trust that they will enjoy the occasion and will take this opportunity to sample all that the Town has to offer.”
The Devon stage of Britain’s biggest free-to-watch sporting event includes three Skoda King of the Mountains climbs at South Hill, near Little Torrington, as well as Merrivale and Coffin Stone within Dartmoor National Park. There will also be intermediate Yodel Sprints at Great Torrington, Slapton Ley and Kingsbridge.
The Tour of Britain attracts spectators from home and abroad and is a massive boost for the local economy. Last year was the first time an entire stage of The Tour had been held in Devon. Over the past three years, The Tour of Britain is estimated to have brought an additional £14 million into the local economy as well as showcasing the county to a global TV audience.
Mick Bennett, Race Director of The Tour of Britain, said: “In 2011 the Devon Stage was a highlight of what was undoubtedly the best ever Tour of Britain, with huge crowds, exciting racing and two great venues. This year we are looking forward to bringing The Tour to both Barnstaple and Dartmouth, and racing across the length of the county. As the penultimate stage, on a tough route, Devon is sure to once again provide The Tour with more memorable moments.”
The Grand Depart of The Tour of Britain 2012 will take place in Ipswich on Sunday 9 September, with the final stage in Guildford on Sunday 16 September. Daily highlights of The Tour will again be screened every evening on ITV4.
First Published August 2012 By The Dart