The Tour of Britain will make a welcome return to Devon in September – with a gruelling 115-mile route ending with a thrilling finish in Exeter.
Some of the world’s top cyclists will be heading to the county on Monday, September 6, for Stage Two of the race.
It will start in the new town of Sherford and culminate in a high-speed finale in Queen Street in the city.
The route takes in the South Hams, Dartmoor and communities including Ermington; Totnes; Dartmouth; Kingsbridge; Modbury; Ivybridge; Cornwood; Yelverton; Tavistock; Princetown; Moretonhampstead and Dunsford.
There are three ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs on a challenging stage.
They are at Strete at the end of a two kilometre climb from Blackpool Sands, the 8.7-kilometre climb of Rundlestone above Tavistock, and the climb between Postbridge and Warren House Inn.
Intermediate Sprints will feature at Torcross, Kingsbridge and Tavistock.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member with responsibility for cycling, said: ““The Tour always provides a great showcase for Devon and it’s a chance for a worldwide audience to see our beautiful coast and countryside as well as our towns and the historic city of Exeter.
“Hopefully the arrival of the Tour will give local businesses a welcome boost.”
Cllr Amal Ghusain, Exeter City Council lead for communities and culture, said: “I can’t wait for the Tour to come to Exeter. It’s a great boost for the city – for everyone who lives here, city centre businesses, shoppers and cycling enthusiasts – especially after the year that we’ve had.
“I’m sure the finale in Queen Street will be a thrilling end to the Devon stage and something for us all to look forward to.”
Locally-based professional cyclist Freddie Scheske has ridden the route as he targets making the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team for the race.
He said: “It’s definitely a tough route but it should make for great racing.
“I probably know the roads better than anyone in the peloton and I’ve got the route here to train on so I can practice efforts on the climbs. It will be nice to have friends and family cheering me on in my home stage – I can’t wait.”
Tour of Britain race director Mick Bennett added: “I have a feeling that this year’s race will be one for the ages – an unforgettable week and a fantastic celebration of Britain and cycling!”
The 2021 Tour of Britain is due to take place from September 5 – 13 September, starting from Penzance, Cornwall, and finishing in Aberdeen.
Teams already announced for this year are Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling; Canyon dhb SunGod; SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling; Saint Piran and TRINITY Racing; as well as a Great Britain national squad.