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Cycling heroes to tackle Devon's hills as Tour of Britain rolls into county
12:09pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Devon
Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are among the top cyclists confirmed to be competing in the 10th anniversary Tour of Britain, which starts in just over a week.
The tour begins on Sunday 15 September in Peebles, Scotland, and will be in Devon for stage six on Friday 20 September.
2012 Tour de France winner and Olympic Time Trial Gold Medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins, who has ridden The Tour of Britain on four previous occasions (2004, 2009, 2010 and 2012), will be among the favourites for the IG Gold Jersey.
He will lead the six-man line-up for Team Sky, and will be joined by Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman and David Lopez.
Former World Road Race Champion and current British Road Race Champion Mark Cavendish heads up the Omega Pharma – Quick Step team. He will be looking to add to the seven Tour of Britain stage victories that he has to his name.
The Movistar Team boasts Nairo Quintana, the 2013 Tour de France runner-up and winner of the King of the Mountains and Young Rider Jerseys, as well as three time British Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett and Spanish sprinter Jose Joaquin Rojas.
Other big name riders who will be competing include Tour de France stage winners Dan Martin and Robbie Hunter, both of Garmin Sharp, Alessandro Petacchi, of Omega Pharma – Quick Step, Heinrich Haussler of IAM Cycling and 2013 Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek of MTN Qhubeka pb Samsung.
South West riders Yanto Barker, from Devon, and Chris Opie, from Cornwall, are in the Team UK Youth line-up and there will also be a Great Britain team represented for the second year running.
Speaking about the Tour of Britain, Sir Bradley said: “I’m really looking forward to the Tour of Britain; it’s a race I’m fond of and it’s nice to see it growing in stature each year. The crowds and the roads make it special and it’s always very humbling to see the fantastic support that we get from the public.
“I’m coming into the race feeling really good. It finishes in close proximity to the world time trial championships which is my main late-season goal. The Tour of Britain is always a tough event and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
The Devon Stage (Stage Six) of The Tour will cover 85 miles (137km) of the county, starting in Sidmouth and finishing at Haytor, in Dartmoor National Park. The race will pass through a number of communities including Sidbury, Honiton, Willand, Moretonhampstead and Bovey Tracey before the challenging climax in Dartmoor National Park.
The Stage includes SKODA King of the Mountains climbs at Pennsylvania Road on the outskirts of Exeter, Mamhead, and Six Mile Hill on Dartmoor, as well as Haytor. There will also be Yodel Sprints outside Blundell’s School in Tiverton, through Exeter High Street and Chudleigh.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Last year was an incredible sporting summer which was reflected by the level of support we saw on or roads during the 2012 Tour of Britain. It’s fantastic to have Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish return to the Tour for a second consecutive year to compete in this 10th anniversary race. It’s shaping up to be another exciting Devon stage and we’re expecting huge crowds right along the route to see some of the biggest names in professional cycling. The historic first of a summit finish at Haytor could make Devon a crucial stage in the race. That means all eyes will be on our county, which is ideal for the local economy in terms of attracting visitors and demonstrating that we are a cycling county.”
Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “We are very pleased to welcome Sir Bradley Wiggins back to The Tour of Britain alongside what looks to be a very strong Sky line-up.”
The race will start in Peebles in Scotland on Sunday 15 September and finish in London on Sunday 22 September.
Live coverage of The Tour of Britain will be screened every day on ITV4 and British Eurosport, with highlights every evening.
Devon Stage – Stage Six (Estimated times) Start - The Esplanade, Sidmouth 11.00 Yodel Sprint - Outside Blundell’s School, Tiverton 12.09 Skoda K.O.M - Pennsylvania Road, Exeter (Category 2) 12.40 Yodel Sprint - Exeter High Street 12:44 Skoda K.O.M - Mamhead (Category 2) 13.15 Yodel Sprint - Chudleigh 13:30 Skoda K.O.M - Six Mile Hill, Dartmoor (Category 2) 14:02 Skoda K.O.M & Finish - Haytor, Dartmoor 14:30
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