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Devon hopes for cycling boost after Tour of Britain
11:00am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in Devon
"It's never been a better time to get on your bike!" That's the message from mayor of West Devon, Cllr Robin Musgrave, after the success of the Tour of Britain cycle race.
Cllr Musgrave, who champions sport for West Devon Borough Council, is hoping more local people will be inspired to take up cycling in the wake of the event.
Thousands of people lined the route through Okehampton, Tavistock and across Dartmoor - in what was described as the most thrilling leg of the competition.
Cllr Musgrave said: "The Tour of Britain has been such a great showcase for cycling and West Devon. Our Borough really is the perfect place to enjoy this fantastic sport. With a local man winning the race, I really hope more people will be inspired to give the sport a go."
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who trains on Dartmoor, became the first British rider to win the Tour of Britain in 19 years. Cllr Terry Pearce, Ward Member for Mary Tavy, watched the race at Princetown.
He said: "It was fantastic to see the crowds packed along the roadside, all the way up the hill to Princetown. Dartmoor looked glorious in the sunshine. I am sure the event will be a big boost for both tourism and cycling in the local area, given the tremendous turnout by people of all age groups."
The Tour of Britain was staged in Devon just over a week after the Drake's Trail cycling and walking route was officially opened.
The 21 mile route links Tavistock with Plymouth, offering a safe and picturesque trail for cyclist of all abilities with highlights such as Gem Bridge and Grenofen Tunnel.
Cllr Musgrave said: "With the official launch of Drake's Trail, West Devon really can be proud of what it offers to cyclists. We have something for everyone; the Granite Way between Lydford and Okehampton, Dartmoor for the would-be 'Kings of the Mountain' even all action mountain-biking in the Tamar Valley!"
He added: "I have seen cyclists in their 70s down to tiny tots being pulled in bike trailers, on the Borough's cycle routes. This sport is so rewarding and West Devon is a great place to get involved."
The Drake's Trail is part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 27, the 'Devon Coast to Coast.'
There are cycle hire facilities at Princetown, Sourton, Tavistock and Yelverton. The route also has lots of cafes and pubs along the way so people can make it a real day out.
For more information visit www.drakestrail.co.uk or pick up a free leaflet from Okehampton or Tavistock Tourist Information Centres.