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08 Sep 2020

Sherford to host Tour of Britain in 2021

Devon County Council and organisers of the Tour of Britain have announced more details of the Devon stage of the race, with a year to go until Britain’s biggest professional cycle race returns to the county.

Devon will host Stage Two of the 2021 Tour of Britain on Monday 6 September with a 185 kilometre (115 mile) route between Sherford and Exeter, the twelfth stage to have been hosted by Devon since 2008.

A typically hilly Devon stage including 3,500 metres of ascent will visit the South Hams for the first time since 2012, combining the beautiful south Devon coast with the testing climbs of Dartmoor, before a finish on Queen Street in Exeter city centre.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said:

“We’ve got a year to prepare for the Devon stage of the 2021 Tour of Britain so we want to make it the biggest and best ever and try to inspire even more people to take to two wheels.

“Next year’s stage should be a good challenge for the world’s best riders. It would be fantastic to see the likes of the Yates brothers racing on Devon’s roads once again and it will provide a very welcome boost for our local economy. We always try to make it a special occasion when The Tour of Britain comes to Devon and it’s great to hear that one of our local professional riders, Freddie Scheske, was inspired by watching one of the Devon Stages on Dartmoor a few years ago – hopefully next year he will have the opportunity to compete in The Tour of Britain.”

The route will feature three intermediate Sprints, the first of which will come at Torcross as the route crosses the road along the narrow shingle bar that separates Slapton Ley from the sea, with the remaining Sprints in Kingsbridge and Tavistock.

Three ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs will also feature, the first on the coast at Strete at the end of a two kilometre climb from Blackpool Sands

The second and third ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs both come in the Dartmoor National Park, the first the 8.7 kilometre climb of Rundlestone above Tavistock, which has been used by the Tour of Britain twice before (2010 and 2012).

The final categorised climb will be between Postbridge and the famous Warren House Inn, one of the most famous locations on Dartmoor and at 434m (1,425ft) above sea level the highest inn in southern England, where the pub’s fire has famously been burning since 1845.

It will be the eleventh year that Devon has featured in the Tour of Britain, with more than 1.7 million people having lined the routes in Devon to watch the stages, generating over £41 million in net economic impact for the local economy.

“We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Devon County Council and being back here with the Tour of Britain in September 2021,” said Hugh Roberts, Managing Director of organisers SweetSpot.

“As always the Devon stage looks set to be an incredibly tough challenge. Coming the day after our first visit to Cornwall what better for cycling fans to look forward to than the opportunity to watch two days of tough racing in the beautiful south west of England.”

Present at the event on the quayside in Exeter were Devon based professional cyclists were Natasha Reddy (Bianchi Dama) and Freddie Scheske (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK), who are both studying at Exeter University.

“It’s the biggest race in Britain and would be a dream come true to race in it,” said Freddie Scheske.  “If I could ride the 2021 Tour of Britain it would be the biggest cycling achievement of my life, the run in goes past my university halls, so I know that road very well.

“It’s very inspirational and very motivational for me to keep training knowing that there will be a race here and I could be riding it.”

“I looked at the profile and thought not too bad, but it’s going to be absolutely savage and relentless.  There’s no flat to recover or freewheel on, you’re either going up full gas or you’re trying to make up gaps on the descent, so you never get into a rhythm.

Speaking about having the Tour of Britain come to Devon and Exeter, Bianchi Dama’s Natasha Reddy said;

“I know the route coming back into Exeter like the back of my hands.  The route is my training roads and one of my favourite bits of Devon to ride, so I’ll definitely be riding round on the day trying to watch in as many places as I can!”

“From Tavistock back to Exeter it will be fast, it’s usually a tailwind across the moor but then there are some short, sharp climbs at Doccombe and Dunsford and they’re not to be overlooked.”

Commenting on the announcement, British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said:

“I know just how much teams, riders and spectators have missed the Tour of Britain this year, and so it is fitting that the second stage of the 2021 race will depart from Devon, which has welcomed the event so often and so warmly over recent years. I have no doubt that the route and the raucous reception will be more than worth the wait!”

The 2021 Tour of Britain is due to take place between Sunday 5 and Sunday 13 September 2021, starting from Penzance in Cornwall and finishing in the city of Aberdeen.

Full details of the 2021 Tour of Britain race route will be announced later in the year while detailed timings for the Devon stage will be announced in the spring of 2021.

The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.

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