Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

North Devon welcomes Tour of Britain in penultimate stage

PUBLISHED: 12:59 17 September 2012

Tour of Britain 2012 Barnstaple

Tour of Britain 2012 Barnstaple

Archant

Crowds were ‘equal to Tour de France’ says race director, as Stage Seven kicked off in Barnstaple.

BARNSTAPLE was buzzing on Saturday morning as crowds gathered to send off the Tour of Britain as it started its seventh stage through Devon.

Race Director Mick Bennett said the Devon stage was the best the Tour has ever had.

He said: “That was the best atmosphere I’ve experienced at a stage in the nine years we’ve been running The Tour of Britain and it was equal to that of The Tour de France.

“To see crowds of such big proportions was unbelievable.”

The crowds tooted horns and waved Devon flags as the riders, including World Champion Mark Cavendish and overall winner of the Tour, Devon rider Jon Tiernan-Locke.

Due to a stomach bug, Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins was absent from this stage of the race.

But local councillor Ricky Knight made up for the lack of sideburns with his own pair as he led out the race with the Royal Marines and 30 young Bikeability riders on a Victorian three-wheeler.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said the day was fantastic.

“The crowd, the weather and the scenery have all been incredible,” he said.

“It was great to see so many people along the route, probably the biggest crowds we have ever had.

“Local businesses must have benefited from that and I would have thought that it has brought in more than £3 million generated by last year’s stage.

“A live worldwide TV audience has also seen what makes Devon so special, it has really shown the county at its best as the premier destination for cycling.”

Check out our photo galleries for more pictures from the weekend.

0 comments

Other News Stories

22 minutes ago

Police investigate illegal killing of shelduck between Bideford and Appledore.

Read more
07:00

Condiment began life by accident but is now doing big business for family-run firm.

Read more
Yesterday, 23:26

Police warning as boy, 15, dies in Ilfracombe after taking a suspected recreational drug

Read more
Yesterday, 16:12

Nobody was in the property, which suffered damage to its first floor.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:07

Blaze is thought to have spread from outside bin.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:43

Birdline UK Pop-Up event for rescue parrots welcomes visitors to find out more about these stunning and intelligent birds

Read more
Yesterday, 14:40

No major damage reported but people have captured some stunning pictures and video from Friday night’s storm

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

‘Absolutely incredible’ new sports hall is opened by former Welsh international footballer Christian Roberts at Ilfracombe Academy

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Family members accepted the community plate on behalf of Dave, who died in April last year at the age of 63.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

The keen young photographer from Torrington has a strong interest in reptiles and amphibians - shown through this selection of his favourite photos.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications