April 28, 2008
grows as route of Tour of Britain cycle race is unveiled
full route of the South West Stage of the Tour of Britain cycle
race was officially annouced on Monday (April 28th), with Burnham-On-Sea
set to be inundated by huge crowds at the finishing line.
in February that our town would be picked as the final destination
for the south west stages of the September 9th race - and further
details were announced at Monday's press launch.
185km South West stage will be the longest in the whole race and
will have a backdrop of stunning scenery as it takes riders past
some of Somerset's hidden gems and idyllic Devon countryside.
here for a large version of the route.
off from Chard in the south of Somerset, the riders will pass
through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a National Park
and then on to the first ever coastal finish in Burnham.
twisting country lanes of the Blackdown Hills will provide the
first 'King of the Mountains' challenge for the riders before
they hit Tiverton in Devon and the picturesque villages of South
and North Molton, where they will face their second 'King of the
rugged terrain will test the riders as they speed through Withypool
and revisit Exford and Wheddon Cross, which attracted thousands
of spectators for last year's race.
riders will then negotiate the narrow medieval streets of historic
Dunster before passing through Williton, Bishops Lydeard and the
on to the north of Somerset, the riders will then be on the home
straight as they travel through the flatter parts of the county
and through Bridgwater, before seeing the finish line at Marine
Drive in Burnham-On-Sea.
year, Somerset County Council has collaborated with Devon County
Council, South Somerset District Council and the Exmoor National
Park Authority to bring the Tour of Britain to the region.
stage is also being supported by the South West of England Regional
the first time in 2008, the Tour of Britain will have daily coverage
on ITV4, and during the race itself youll be able to track
the race in real-time online.
Jill Shortland, Leader of Somerset County Council, said at Monday's
unveiling of the route: "The Tour of Britain took Somerset
by storm in 2007. This years route takes in even more of
the region and promises to be a spectacular event. We are working
with our supporting partners to make sure that as many local schools
and members of the community as possible get involved and enjoy
the festivities. Last year, Somerset benefited to the tune of
£500,000 in additional visitor spend within the county on
the race day alone and we hope that local businesses will welcome
the event and help us in making sure it is a success again."
Lavender, South West England Director for the 2012 Games, added:
"We are delighted that the South West stage of the Tour of
Britain is not only returning to Somerset this year, but will
incorporate North Devon and the first ever coastal stage finish.
The event will be an economic boost to the region, and an opportunity
to showcase the South Wests natural assets and ability to
manage major sporting competitions. This event contributes significantly
to our 2012 Games legacy objectives for the region, particularly
in sports participation, community engagement and skills."
Jones, Route Director of the Tour of Britain, said: "In 2007
the South West stage of the Tour of Britain proved to be a decisive
moment in the race and whilst it didn't decide the overall winner
it certainly put an end to the aspirations of a large proportion
of the field. I think that our visit to the South West on 9th
September could have a similar effect. There are three classified
King of the Mountains climbs, the first after only a handful of
miles, and that sets the tone for the day. With 30km from the
summit of the last climb to the finish there may be an opportunity
for a small regrouping, but for many riders it may be too late
to salvage their hopes of winning the 2008 Tour of Britain."
image showing full route of the cycle race
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