Get ready for Tour of Britain across South Hams

By Tom Ladds   |   Editor   |
Saturday 21st August 2021 6:00 am
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The Tour of Britain returns to Devon next month as the county hosts Stage 2 of the UK’s premier cycle race as it winds its way from Penzance to Aberdeen over the course of 8 days.

The Devon stage starts on Monday September 6 in Sherford, tours the South Hams, crosses Dartmoor and will finish in Exeter about four hours later.

The race’s last two champions Julian Alaphilippe (2018) and Mathieu van der Poel (2019) are widely considered two of the sport’s leading riders.

Both won stages and wore the yellow jersey in this year’s Tour de France. Indeed, every year some of the world’s top riders and teams come to the UK to compete in the Tour of Britain. On each team there are six professional cyclists heading into Kingsbridge on September 6.

During the race, riders may encounter mechanical issues such as flat tyres, broken chains, maybe a crash, which will require the team car to reach them and swiftly fix the problem – sometimes the rider may actually swap to a new bike to make sure they waste as little time as possible.

The race convoy is a collection of cars and motorbikes that accompany the cyclists across the stage. This includes Police, TV motorbikes, team cars, convoy cars, commissaires, judges and medical staff. They will be split up ahead and at the back of the riders to enable safe riding conditions and temporary road closures. Every team has a communication system where they can feed information from their team car to their riders and vice versa.

By the time the race reaches Kingsbridge, we may see a small group of riders who have accelerated away from the main field – a breakaway – or the race could arrive in one large group – the pelaton – because out on the road there is potential for lots to happen.

The cyclists will head into town along the A379 from West Charleton, race along Embankment Road, ride up Fore Street, turn left on to the Plymouth Road and then head out along the A379 to Churchstow.

There are three intermediate sprints during the stage and one of them takes place along the Embankment Road starting by the zebra crossing at the Recreation Park, points to be won and time bonuses for the first few riders to cross. The action is fast and frantic. Then the riders will have to check their speed to negotiate Quay roundabout before entering Fore Street and riding uphill past the shops.

We anticipate the advance Police motorbike escort managing the race and road closures to arrive in Kingsbridge early afternoon at around 12.30 and the riders should pass through between 12.45 and 13.05. You are strongly advised to be at the roadside between 30 minutes and one hour before the race is due to pass through. Therefore, you should aim to be at your chosen vantage point by 12.15 at the latest.

There will be a band playing outside the Peacocks store in lower Fore Street so jot the date into your diary, get into town early, soak up all that Kingsbridge has to offer and enjoy the moment as you cheer on the riders.

Councillor Julia Wingate, said: “With thousands of new people and families taking up cycling in the UK, this is an unmissable opportunity to see some of the world’s greatest riders up close. They will flash past you in a blaze of colour, speed and brilliance. It’s an amazing experience. What a great way to spend the last day of the school holidays!”

All details of the race can be found at: https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk and further information will be released over the next couple of weeks.

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