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£6 million boost from Devon Stage of The Tour

Tour of Britain 2014Tour of Britain 2014

Posted on: 10 November 2014

This year’s Devon Stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain generated more than £6 million for the local economy, according to an independent report.

The report, commissioned by The Tour, has revealed that the Devon Stage on Thursday 11 September, hosted by Devon County Council and sponsored by SWH Ltd, attracted 230,000 spectators.

The crowds that turned out along the 110mile (177km) route from Exmouth to Exeter to be part of the UK’s largest free-to-watch sporting event were on par with last year’s record breaking figures.

The report highlights that Britain’s biggest professional cycle race generated just over £6.045 million of additional spending in the county. 14% of visitors stayed overnight with the average spend by overnight visitors just over £72.

Spectators got a glimpse of some of cycling’s biggest stars, including Britain’s Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, Tour de France stage winner Marcel Kittel and Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski, just days before he claimed the title of road race world champion. However, it was current world hour record holder Matthias Brandle, of IAM Cycling, who won the Devon stage.

The report was based upon the findings of a web-based survey of more than 2,600 Tour spectators. Of those who responded, 90% described the race as “very enjoyable” and 61% said they were inspired to cycle more often.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “This year was another triumph for the Devon Stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, and we’re thrilled that it has generated another significant amount of spending in the county. I think the impressive turnout of spectators has again demonstrated how well regarded The Tour is in Devon, and always earns praise from the Tour organisers Sweetspot.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “This year was another triumph for the Devon Stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, and we’re thrilled that it has generated another significant amount of spending in the county. I think the impressive turnout of spectators has again demonstrated how well regarded The Tour is in Devon, and always earns praise from the Tour organisers Sweetspot.

“The Tour is now a well established event on the sporting calendar, and I’d like to think that Devon has played a role in helping to achieve that over the past eight years. It’s great to see that this report has found that so many people enjoyed the race and have been inspired to cycle more often. That’s part of the legacy that we’ve always aimed for to ensure Devon is a cycling county, and the worldwide TV coverage provides long term recognition of what Devon has to offer cyclists. Although the race won’t visit Devon next year, we’ll be looking at the possibilities for 2016.”

A TV audience of around one million people in the UK tuned into the coverage of the Devon Stage on ITV4. The race was also broadcast to 139 countries worldwide.

Race Director Mick Bennett said: “We’d like to thank Devon County Council for their support in once again putting on a fantastic stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain. This year’s Tour was exciting throughout, nowhere more so than in Devon with the memorable finish in Exeter city centre. We have worked with Devon County Council over the past eight years, seeing the race grow in size and stature, and showcasing the county’s towns, cities and countryside with some brilliant racing on ITV4. We will continue to work closely with Devon County Council and look at plans for 2016.”

Devon has featured in The Tour over the past eight years. In that time more than 1.25 million people have watched the race in Devon along the various Stage routes around the county, and it has brought in around £33 million to the local economy. Last year 250,000 spectators watched the stage from Sidmouth to Haytor on Dartmoor.