The Tour of Britain is set to take in swathes of North Devon and many of its main communities.
The official route for the major cycle race has just been announced tonight (Tuesday) in London – and numerous North Devon towns and villages can expect to watch the world class cyclists sweep through on Monday, September 3.
Barnstaple twice, South Molton Pannier Market and the North Devon coast will all feature in the Tour of Britain this September.
The world class cycle race will finish a stage in Barnstaple but in between the competitors will be treated to a first class view of the North Devon countryside.
It starts at Cranbrook in East Devon and will make its way across Mid Devon to Witheridge, before following the road to South Molton, Filleigh, Swimbridge and Landkey.
A quick swoop through Barnstaple will take the cyclists out towards Bratton Fleming on a 70 kilometre loop that takes them through Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, Woolacombe and Croyde before passing through Braunton and heading back to Barnstaple for the finish.
This leg of the race is also promising something new, as the race will pass through South Molton Pannier Market – the first time in its history it has been routed through a building.
Organisers say it promises to be some of the most unpredictable, explosive and exciting stages of the whole Tour of Britain 2018.
A sprint section is confirmed for Landkey as well as a gruelling king of the mountain section at Challacombe Hill at Woolacombe.
A second sprint section may also take place near Castle Hill at Filleigh, though this has yet to be confirmed.
It will also pass through a building for the first time in its history, as cyclists travel through South Molton’s historic Pannier Market enroute.
The race will be broadcast live and communities are already relishing the chance to show off North Devon to the world.
READ MORE: Tour of Britain 2018 stage to finish in Barnstaple
The race is being hosted by Devon County Council, supported by North Devon Council and East Devon District Council and working with Barnstaple Town Council and Cranbrook Town Council.
Each race stage has brought around £4m each to the Devon economy during previous visits.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon Country Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “Devon is synonymous with the Tour, this will be the 10th time in 12 years it has come to Devon, and each and every time the crowds have been treated to a thrilling stage and something different.
“The list goes on and it’s free and generates millions for the local economy. Don’t miss it!”
Barnstaple mayor Ian Roome added: “I am over the moon the Tour of Britain stage finish will be in Barnstaple, and that the route takes the race through the town along the way as well!
“The whole community will want to engage with this exciting event for Barnstaple, and it is a wonderful destination for anyone following the race.”