To mark Devon’s part in the 10th anniversary Tour of Britain, communities along the route will celebrate by hosting a series of events.
Devon County Council will host Stage Six of this year’s race on Friday 20 September, when a record 114 professional riders will race 85 miles (137 km) from Sidmouth on the Jurassic Coast to Haytor in Dartmoor National Park.
Events will be held throughout the day and in the days leading up to the Devon Stage, as part of the build up to welcoming Britain’s biggest free-to-watch sporting event.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re always proud to welcome The Tour. It’s a prestigious event and I’m sure we’ll see hundreds of thousands of people along the route once again. Not only do you get to see Britain’s biggest cycle race and cheer on some of the best professional cyclists in the world, but there is plenty of other entertainment and things to do for all the family.
“The community events based around the Devon Stage of The Tour always add something extra to the occasion. You can make it a day out or enjoy what’s on offer in the week leading up to the Stage. The local economy benefits from the arrival of The Tour and these supporting events are an added attraction to bring people into our local area and see what makes Devon such a warm and welcoming place to visit.”
Haytor on Dartmoor will be hosting The Tour’s first ever summit finish. Spectators are advised to arrive in plenty of time and there will be lots to do in the hours before the Stage finish.
Professional BMX riders Kye Forte, Leo Forte, Darren Tottman and Kona Hellier will be performing their spectacular tricks at the Lower Car Park at Haytor at 11am – 11.30am, 12.15pm – 12.45pm, and 1.30pm – 2pm.
From 10am to 3.30pm the Lower Car Park at Haytor will also host X-Bike taster sessions (a unique all over body work out), local food and drink, as well as Travel Devon Information, the Teignbridge ‘Waste and Recycling Roadshow’ featuring Elfic the Juggler, and a Devon Air Ambulance fund raising stall.
Local schoolchildren will be taking part in a hill climb at Haytor from 10.30am – 12noon, organised by the Dartmoor School Sports Partnership. James Bevis, Paralympic Bronze Medallist, will present the medals on the official podium.
Crowds will be able to follow the action of the race live on a giant TV screen located near the finish area, and from around 2:30pm get to see the action up close as the pro riders are expected to reach Haytor to tackle the Tour of Britain’s first ever summit finish. After the Stage finish, jersey presentations will take place on the podium.
Bill Hitchins, Chairman of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: “Dartmoor National Park Authority is delighted that the Tour of Britain is returning to Dartmoor again, and it is particularly exciting to have the first ever summit finish at Haytor. The world’s top cyclists will be tackling a gruelling hill climb up to Haytor, and the Authority has been working closely with Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council to plan for a successful event. During the morning there will be lots going on with a community events area, promotional zone, and local food and refreshments available. Local schoolchildren will also be competing in a Haytor Hill Climb challenge before the professional riders arrive at around 2.30pm.”
Councillor Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council, said: “This year’s stage is going to take in some fantastic parts of Teignbridge. There’s loads of opportunities for people to watch, not just at the start and finish, but all the bits in between! Now’s the time for people to start thinking about where to go and how to get there. We’d really encourage people to leave the car behind and use the facilities on offer – better still two wheels or on foot is equally as good. We hope people turn up, line the route, and give the cyclists – and local economy – a day to remember.”
Devon has featured in The Tour over the past seven years. In that time it has brought in more than £21 million to the local economy and showcased the county to a worldwide television audience. Last year’s Devon Stage generated more than £7.3 million in the county.
The race will start in Peebles in Scotland on Sunday 15 September and finish in London on Sunday 22 September.