Tour of Britain to take in Axminster and Honiton

PUBLISHED: 13:10 19 May 2009 | UPDATED: 23:31 15 June 2010

THE South West Tour of Britain stages were unveiled at the Guildhall in Axminster. The two race routes, which will cover a total of 346km, will start in Frome and end in Yeovil passing through the Devon Jurassic Coast and crossing the river Axe.

THE South West Tour of Britain stages were unveiled at the Guildhall in Axminster.The two race routes, which will cover a total of 346km, will start in Frome and end in Yeovil - passing through the Devon Jurassic Coast and crossing the river Axe.During the second race, riders will pass through Honiton, Sidmouth, and Sidford, making a steep uphill climb to Blue Ball.From there, cyclists will go down to Seaton and cross the River Axe before heading north to Axminster - and then on to Chard.Mayor Ron Jones said: "We are extremely pleased to be hosting this event this year. It's another feather in Axminster's cap."It is the first time the South West leg will run over two days, September 17 and 18, when 96 internationally elite cyclists will compete.Last year there were 107,000 spectators at the South West stage, with an extra visitor spend of more than £1.8 million over a single day. The two day event is expected to build on the success of previous years and boost the local economy.Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council's executive member for environment, said she would be cheering the cyclists on as they pass through Seaton.She said: "There is enormous prestige and economic benefit attached to the Tour. It's the sort of boost our local economy and our local communities need and such a spectacle is sure to bring people to Devon again."It will further advance our ambitions to be a premier cycling destination and the greenest county."Graham Jones, Route director of The Tour of Britain, believes these stages could help determine the winner.He said: "For the first time ever, The Tour of Britain will have two fantastic stages take place in the South West region."Stage six, which makes its way over Exmoor, will prove to be a testing stage for the riders. While stage seven will be one of the toughest and keep the overall winner in doubt until the very end of The Tour."The Tour was welcomed by the Axe Valley Pedallers, who hope it will inspire more people to take up cycling.Member Alistair Cope said: "We are really excited, particularly because it's raising the profile of cycling in the Axe Valley, and as a club we have been trying hard to do that."To concentrate on the stars of cycling is going to inspire the children to get out there and try it."l Councillor Margaret Rogers is encouraging local people to arrange some welcome celebrations, as the route goes through Axmouth and Seaton.


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