Devon earmarked for historic Tour of Britain finish
Devon will make history as the first stage of the Tour of Britain to host a summit finish when Britain's premier cycle race returns to the county in September to celebrate its tenth anniversary.
The organisers of the Tour, and Devon County Council, yesterday announced that Devon will host Stage Six from Sidmouth to Haytor in Dartmoor National Park on Friday, September 20. 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.
It will be the seventh consecutive year that the Tour will have visited the county.
This year's Devon stage will start on the Jurassic Coast in Sidmouth and will cover around 85 miles (137 km) of the county before finishing with a testing climb at Haytor.
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The route will also see 96 of the world's top cyclists race through Honiton, Tiverton, Exeter, Moretonhampstead, and Bovey Tracey before reaching its challenging climax.
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."
Last year's 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 leader's gold jersey in the county on his way to becoming the first Briton to win the race overall.
The Tour last raced through Sidmouth in 2010 and Haytor featured as a King of the Mountains climb in 2011 when Tiernan-Locke dominated the climbs and went on to win the leading climber's jersey.
Among the teams which have been revealed to be competing in this year's Tour are Team Sky, Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, Garmin-Sharp, Vaconsoleil DCM, Cannondale and Orica GreenEDGE.
At the national launch of the 2013 Tour in Covent Garden, London, yesterday it was also revealed that the race would start in Peebles, Scotland, on Sunday, September 15, and finish in Whitehall after ten laps of the capital on Sunday, September. 22