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.

Other News Stories

38 minutes ago

Justeen Easton has been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award, after setting up a charity for grieving families in memory of her daughter Ellie.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:10

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of The Green Party, has been helping the candidates canvass for forthcoming Braunton district and parish council by elections

Read more
Yesterday, 13:03

Station near Lynton is crowned champion for best community engagement at the SuperStation Awards 2017

Read more
Yesterday, 11:35

Route 39 Academy’s new free school building is set to open in September next year, and this week supporters gathered for a traditional topping out ceremony at Steart Farm.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:02

We have compiled nine snaps of snow-hit towns and villages across Devon and are challenging you to name them all correctly.

Read more
Wed, 17:30

With Hugh Grant playing Jeremy Thorpe in a new BBC drama being filmed at Chittlehampton this month, former assistant agent Peter Bray recalls the real Jeremy Thorpe behind the headlines

Read more
Wed, 16:28

The A361 Link Road was closed in Barnstaple due to reports of a man on the wrong side of the railings on Rumsam Bridge.

Read more
Wed, 16:17

Do you agree with plans for a new ‘Devonwall’ constituency? See what other Gazette readers think here and take part in our poll.

Read more
Wed, 15:10

Police and an ambulance were called to Broad Street in Ilfracombe last night (Tuesday) after an incident outside of The Sandpiper Inn.

Read more
Wed, 15:02

The owners of The Tavern in Barnstaple hope to convert an unused part of historic pub into maisonette, hostel and managers flat.

Read more

Local Weather

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°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