North Devon welcomes Tour of Britain in penultimate stage

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

Yesterday, 08:00
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

The 20-year-old caused more than £5,000 worth of damage to parked coach after drink excessive amounts of lager.

Read more
Saturday, February 28, 2015
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

The 52-year-old made 320 calls in 2014 after doctor told her to call out-of-hours number if she felt unwell.

Read more
Friday, February 27, 2015
Site manager Stephen Hall gives the Gazette a tour of  Anchorwood Bank in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Demolition contractor gives us exclusive access to Barnstaple’s biggest regeneration site in a generation.

Read more
Friday, February 27, 2015
Roots Manuva will be headlining GoldCoast Oceanfest on Friday, June 19

GoldCoast Oceanfest has announced the first of its headliners for this year’s festival.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



North Devon's trusted business finder