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Tour cyclists prepare for Exeter to Exmouth - the long way
Tour of Britain - Stage Five
Event: 11th-18th September 2011
Devon is all set to host its first ever full stage of The Tour of Britain in September.
Stage Five of Britain's premier cycle race will cover around 110 miles of the county on Thursday 15th
September as 96 of the world's top professional cyclists compete to wear the new IG Markets Gold Jersey, which replaces the yellow jersey.
Rapha Condor Sharp riders Jon Tiernan-Locke, Zak Dempster, Casey Munro and Tom Southam got a chance to check out the start and finish locations of the Devon Stage. Rather than trekking the full distance of the Stage, they took the Exe Estuary Trail - something which spectators will have the opportunity to do on the day of the race if they want to see both the start and finish of the event.
The riders were joined by pupils from Topsham Primary and Bassetts Farm Primary Schools who have received Bikeability training from Devon County Council. Team Qoroz/South West Bike Academy rider Jack Reed and local authority representatives were also on hand as Devon County Council officially opened the latest section of the Exe Estuary Trail between Exton and Topsham.
On 15th September, The Tour will take in Dartmoor National Park as well as a number of other communities including Pathfinder Village, Tedburn St Mary, Moretonhampstead, Bovey Tracey,
Postbridge, Bow, Broadclyst and West Hill.
The riders will have to tackle three King of the Mountains climbs at Haytor, Coffin Stone, and Huccaby
Tor, as well as three intermediate Yodel Sprints at Cheriton Bishop, Crediton and Rockbeare.
The Grand Depart of the 2011 Tour will be from Scotland on Sunday 11th September, with the race finishing in London on Sunday 18 September. Among the 16 world class teams lined up to compete over the eight days are Sky Professional Cycling Team, Team HTC - Highroad, Garmin Cervelo,
Leopard Trek, Endura Racing and Rapha Condor Sharp.
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of The Tour of Britain, said: "While this year's Devon stage may start and finish just a few miles apart, the route itself takes in a great swathe of the county, allowing spectators from across Devon to enjoy the spectacle of this country's national cycling tour. In 2010 Dartmoor produced some of the most memorable photographs and television pictures of the entire race, so I'm sure this year will be no different, especially on what looks to be a very tough and challenging route.
"Exeter is a city we know very well from The Halfords Tour Series, so I'm certain that we will see some of the largest crowds of The Tour of Britain there on Thursday 15th September. With Exmouth being just a short cycle ride down the Exe Estuary Trail, it makes a great opportunity for spectators to enjoy a day at The Tour, seeing both the start and finish, while enjoying this fantastic cycling route that Devon County Council has created."
The overall winner of Tour of Britain 2010 was Swiss rider Michael Albasini of Team HTC-Columbia, who wore the Yellow Jersey throughout last year's two South West stages shared by Devon and Somerset.
The South West stages were seen by more than a million British viewers on ITV4, as well as being beamed across the world to countries including Australia, New Zealand, Italy and South
Stage Five - Exeter to Exmouth (Thursday 15th September 2011)
Start Exeter, Cathedral Yard 10:15
12.1km Yodel Sprint, Cheriton Bishop 10:41
31.0km Moretonhampstead 11:06
40.8km Bovey Tracey 11:20
48.1km KoM (Cat. 1), Haytor Rocks 11:29
57.8km KoM (Cat. 2), Coffin Stone 11:43
59.6km KoM (Cat. 2), Huccaby Tor 11:45
74.2km Postbridge 12:05
87.5km Moretonhampstead 12:23
118.6km Copplestone 13:05
125.0km Yodel Sprint, Crediton 13:13
148.4km Broadclyst 13:45
154.6km Yodel Sprint, Rockbeare 13:53
Finish/180.3km Exmouth, The Esplanade 14:28