Robin Carpenter wins second stage in Exeter (Swpix) – Image courtesy of Devon County Council
Councilors praise the success of the county scene
Devon leaders hailed this year’s Tour of Britain stage as a great success.
Monday’s event saw more than a hundred runners running from Sherford near Plymouth to crowded Queen Street in Exeter, via a winding route including Dartmouth and Dartmmor. American Robin Carpenter was the first to cross the finish line to win the stage, the second on the tour after it kicked off in Cornwall the day before.
The 115 mile course circled South Hams and Dartmoor, passing communities such as Totnes, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Ivybridge, Yelverton, Tavistock, Princetown and Moretonhampstead.
The race was broadcast live on ITV4 and other channels around the world, and footage showed crowds of spectators lining the course in bright sunshine.
Devon County Council Chief John Hart said: ‘We couldn’t have had a better day and I would say because I’m from South Hams we couldn’t have had a better route from tour either.
“The way people turned out, the way the sun was shining, the way Devon has been shown nationally as well as locally and internationally from camera shots, and the discourse of landscape commentators, have put Devon in a way that we frankly couldn’t buy that kind of good publicity.
“These towns that turned out, turned out in numbers, and the design of the route – where you’ve had a number of climbs in this heat – frankly I took my hat off to the riders themselves.”
Hosting this year’s stage cost County Council just under £ 220,000, which will be spread over two fiscal years. Exeter also contributed a sum, estimated at around £ 70,000.
It is estimated that this year’s event could generate up to £ 5million for the local economy. It is estimated that over £ 41million has been earned in Devon from the 13 Tour of Britain visits since 2007.
Councilor Stuart Hughes (Conservative, Sidmouth), cabinet member responsible for cycling, said: The best cyclists in the sport.
“I hope this has also given a boost to some of our local businesses and helps them as we aim for a strong economic recovery in the county. And we were fortunate to have beautiful weather so that a worldwide audience that watched on TV got to see some of Devon’s most scenic places at their best.
Councilor Duncan Wood (Labor, Pinhoe), responsible for recreation and physical activity in Exeter, added: “It’s fantastic that the second stage of the Tour of Britain ends in Exeter. It was a great atmosphere at the finish line and it was great to see so many people enjoying the day.
Mick Bennett, Race Director of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain, said the stage was “beyond all expectations and it is to the credit of everyone involved. I will never sing everyone’s praises enough ”.
“With almost 3,500 meters of vertical drop, it was definitely more difficult than the previous stages in Devon. We want the Tour to show that Britain is open again. We were lucky with the weather, which was beautiful, but that’s why people come to Devon.