Tour of Britain riders to tackle Dartmoor passing Tavistock, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh
DARTMOOR will provide elite cyclists with a stunning backdrop this month as the renowned Tour of Britain makes its way around the country.
Hailed as the toughest leg of the eight stage race, top riders including Gold Medal winner Bradley Wiggins, will be sprinting their way from Barnstaple to Dartmouth in their bid for glory.
On Saturday September 15, stage seven will start in Barnstaple at 10.15am, moving on to Okehampton and Tavistock before cycling along the border of the National Park and skirting the boundary of Brent Tor.
The route drops down to Two Bridges, after which it heads out on to open moorland above the West Dart River, dropping in to Dartmeet before the sharp "SKODA King of the Mountains climb" of Coffin Stone.
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A descent to Poundsgate leads off the moor and past the River Dart Country Park to Ashburton before skirting the southern border of the park to Buckfastleigh, passing close to Buckfast Abbey.
Away from Dartmoor the final half of the stage begins through the South Hams to the south coast. Two "Yodel Sprints" follow in just over ten kilometres, the first at Kingsbridge and the second at Slapton Sands.
Riders will then drop down to Blackpool and climb through Stoke Fleming to the outer reaches of Dartmouth.
A very steep and fast descent heads past the Naval College to Dartmouth's seafront, swinging past the ferry point for the final few hundred metres along the quayside.
At this stage it is expected a very small group will contest for the winning place with the hills having taken their toll on the cyclists.
It is likely to be the "decisive" stage of the over all race as the penultimate but toughest leg.
Favourite for the podium is Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins.
Suggested viewing points for spectators are; Pork Hill, Princetown High Moorland Visitor Centre car park, Dartmeet, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh.
For more information about the Devon Stage of The Tour of Britain, visit www.southwesttourofbritain.co.uk.