Rio Olympic heroes Wiggins and Cavendish taking part

East Devon District Council moves into top gear next week as meticulous plans are put in place for the Sidmouth start of the premier Tour of Britain cycle race on Friday 9 September.

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of the town to watch the sporting spectacle with Rio Olympic medallists Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish among the world class riders taking part.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is supporting Devon County Council in hosting Stage Six of the Tour which sets off from Sidmouth’s Esplanade at 11.30am, and winds along 150 km (93 miles) of the county’s roads before finishing at Haytor on Dartmoor just after 3pm. The day before the event, on Thursday 8 September, there will be further excitement in the town with street cycle races during the afternoon and evening. Other events are also planned during the next week leading up to the race.

Behind the scenes, a team of EDDC staff have been assisting in the planning of the event. It’ll be a 5am start each morning for the streetscene operations crew who will be ensuring the town looks great for the two-day cycling bonanza.

As the crowds leave the town at the end of the day, it’ll be all systems go as the team move in to ensure the town looks spick and span just as it did before. In the coming week, the team will be putting up posters and banners and decorating the town with bikes to promote the Tour.

Stands promoting race activities will be on the Esplanade on race day and cycling – along with recycling – will feature on the East Devon District Council stall. Visitors to the stand can try out a ‘smoothie’ bike – a stationary bike fitted with special blenders that spin as you pedal, mixing up delicious fruit smoothies in an instant. It’s a great way to get more exercise, eat healthily and waste less food. Recycling officers and the community development team will be on hand to give handy tips to encourage people to recycle more and waste less.  They will also be asking residents to sign up to environmental pledges such as picking up litter from beaches and using more leftovers in the kitchen.

Visitors will also be invited to help the council leave a permanent legacy of the event by helping artists with a mosaic, which, once completed will be displayed in the town. Exeter-based Artstorm has created the design for the mosaic and visitors will be able to place pieces of tile within the artwork. After the event, the work will be mounted on the wall of the open space in the Triangle. The artists will be working alongside the council stand on the Esplanade from 9am to 12.30pm on the day of the race.


A week of events are lined up in Sidmouth to promote the race and include: 

  • Sunday 4 September: 11am-2:30pm - Period Costumed      Velo Vintage riders with their vintage bikes will be out and about along the seafront and town centre with information and maps for the Tour of Britain.
  • Monday 5 & Tuesday 6 September: 6.30pm - Sid Valley Cycling Club community cycle ride out. A leisurely paced friendly cycle around Sidmouth. Meet at Kennaway House.
  • A shop window competition organised by the Sidmouth      Chamber of Commerce.
  • Thursday 8 September: Sidmouth criterium race day      organised by Sid Valley Cycling Club and British Cycling. Roads around the town centre will be closed from late morning. Racing, from 3pm to 9pm, will be on a 1.3 km town centre circuit that combines the seafront Esplanade, Mill Street, the High Street, Market Square, Church Street,      Station Road before heading back to the start / finish on the Esplanade.
  • Friday 9 September:

-       Cycling activities and stalls open from 8.30am

-       Professional mountain bike trials rider Andrei Burton - 6th in the World and 4th in Europe in 2013 - along with his team will be demonstrating cycling skills at the York Steps at 9am, 10am, 11am, and 11.40am.

-       Riders sign on at the podium at 10.30am.

-       Representatives from Velo Vintage, Sid Valley Cycle Club, Active Mums and Bikeability students from Sidmouth schools take part in a lead-out ride at 11.15am.

-       At 11.30am, Stage 6, Tour of Britain starts from the Esplanade. It will travel along Fore Street, High Street and Woolbrook Road and out towards Ottery St Mary where the riders are expected to arrive at 11.49am and reach the gruelling Chineway Hill at 11.50am followed by Honiton at just after noon before leaving East Devon

-       From 12.30pm to 2.30pm, the East Devon schools Tour of Britain cycle race will take place in The Byes near the Toll Bridge.

In Ottery St Mary, where the race will ride through, keen cyclists and cycling clubs are invited for a big breakfast at 8am before riding up Chineway Hill to watch the riders arrive at the summit. For further information, contact Ottery Tourism.

Cllr Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

The Tour is the UK’s biggest professional cycle event featuring world class athletes and our own Rio Olympians - and its happening on our doorstep!

We’re thrilled to be part of this amazing event which our dedicated staff have been working on for months. I have no doubt that their planning will pay off and the spectators will have lasting memories of great day.

Cllr Jenny Brown, East Devon District Council’s Tourism Champion added:

We’re expecting several thousand visitors and this event is a unique opportunity to showcase just how beautiful East Devon is. We hope that our stunning countryside and Jurassic coastline will capture the hearts of some of those visitors, so they may return and stay here.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, and also chairman of East Devon District Council, said:

The Tour of Britain offers a great opportunity for everyone to get involved without being clad in Lycra. The mosaic will act as a permanent reminder of this prestigious event and the start of stage 6 in Sidmouth and I hope everyone will get involved.

On the day of the race and the day before there will be parking restrictions and road closures in the Sidmouth area and communities where the Tour is riding through. For further information please look out for signage in these areas or visit the Devon Tour of Britain website.

Follow Tour of Britain on social media. Twitter: #ToB2016, @SWTourofBritain, @TourofBritain