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Tour cycle race heading for resort

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: February 13, 2010

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TEIGNMOUTH is set for a massive tourism boost after the prestigious Tour of Britain announced it is coming to the town this year.

Cycling legends and civic leaders have welcomed the news that Britain's premier cycling race will finish a stage on the seafront in September.

It will be the first time a major cycling event has visited South Devon since the Milk Race came to Paignton 25 years ago.

Teignmouth will benefit from an influx of cycling fans who are likely to stay and spend money locally.

It will also bring some of cycling's biggest names to the area with national television coverage planned.

The 175km stage will start in Minehead, Somerset, and finish in Teignmouth on a date yet to be fixed but believed to be Tuesday, September 14.

A Tour of Britain spokesman said: "The Tour of Britain will take place between September 11 and September 18.

"The Minehead to Teignmouth route is one of the stages. We are yet to fix which stage it will be in the tour and on which date."

Last year's Tour of Britain generated £6million for the South West economy with 230,000 spectators lining the roads of two stages from Frome to Bideford and Hatherleigh to Yeovil.

Former British pro-champion, Olympic Games and Tour de France rider Colin Lewis, from Paignton, president of Mid Devon Cycling Club, said: "This is tremendous for Teignmouth.

"It's going to be a wonderful boost for the area.

"The Milk Race's stage finish in Paignton some 25 years ago attracted huge crowds and I expect the same will happen again."

Teignmouth police inspector Chris Shaw said: "We do not have full details yet but the stage will finish on the seafront.

"This will involve work at force level, because it traverses two counties, and local level.

"I really welcome this. It is going to be excellent for the town."

Referring to last year's hugely successful homecoming gigs by Teignmouth rockers Muse, he added: "The Muse concerts proved we can stage major events.

"This will involve some road closures but we will keep disruption to a minimum and enjoyment to a maximum."

Teignbridge Council leader Cllr Alan Connett said: "Last year Muse, this year the Tour of Britain — what will be the hat-trick?

"This is great for South Devon and I think people will be very supportive."

Ahead of the main race, amateur cyclists will be able to measure themselves against the pro-riders by taking on one of three rides; the full stage at 175km, a 70km ride from Honiton to Teignmouth or a family-friendly circular route around Teignmouth.

All three will happen on Sunday, September 5. They are part of the Tour of Britain and Prostate Cancer Charity's Tour Rides 2010.

With two others in London and Stoke-on-Trent, they are aimed at backing the charity's drive to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer.

Councillor William Mumford, Devon County Council's cabinet member for economic regeneration and strategic planning, said: "The Tour Ride is more good news for our local economy.

"We are investing in making Devon a premier destination for cycling tourism and this event is an opportunity for people to see what our beautiful county has to offer."

Tour of Britain chief executive Hugh Roberts said: "The Tour of Britain team is delighted to be working with the Prostate Cancer Charity and, together with our regional stakeholders, hope to welcome thousands of amateur cyclists to our 2010 Tour Ride events."

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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