TOUR of Britain’s visit to Teignbridge last year added more than £1 million to the local economy, according to an economic report.
Despite the wet weather, the cycling race in September attracted tens of thousands of spectators who spent £1,382,474 in Teignbridge on hotels and consumables.
Spectators got a glimpse of some of cycling’s biggest stars, including Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, two of seven Rio medallists competing.
Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Teignbridge Council leader, said: ‘The opportunity to get up close to Olympic champions and world famous cyclists on our Teignbridge roads is something that will live long in the memory of those who came out to line the course.
‘The weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm and support for the Tour of Britain, which showcased the district through worldwide coverage.
‘It was particularly inspiring to witness local community groups and school children taking part on the day and being cheered on to the summit.
‘The Tour of Britain is about much more than a single day of events but helps to build a legacy to encourage a healthy lifestyle and get people cycling.
‘We would welcome the return of the Tour of Britain to our district and this report demonstrates we were right to invest in it and help bring such a high profile event to our region.’
The Tour of Britain Economic Impact report found more than 425,000 people watched the Devon stage of the race live on TV, and an additional 117,000 viewers watched the ITV4 repeat show. This was the highest repeat viewing figures for any of the race’s eight stages.
Of the 250,000 visitors who attended the race in Devon, approximately 45,000 came from outside the region, and around 55,000 people stayed overnight in paid accommodation.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways with responsibility for cycling, said: ‘The impressive turnout and the fact more people watched the Devon highlights programme than that of any other stage, again demonstrates how well regarded the Tour is in Devon.
‘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 years.
‘The event generated millions of pounds of extra spending by visitors, benefiting businesses including bed and breakfasts, cycling shops, pubs and eateries across the county, effectively extending the holiday season in Devon into September.
‘Although the race won’t visit Devon next year, we’ll be looking at the possibilities for 2018.’
Bill Hitchins, chairman of Dartmoor National Park Authority said the Tour provided a fantastic opportunity for Dartmoor to host the summit finish at Haytor.
He said: ‘This testing king of the mountains finish once again drew thousands of people to the national park to witness some of the world’s top cyclists and the atmosphere was fantastic.
‘The Tour allowed us to showcase to the world what a beautiful part of the country this is and without a doubt the iconic granite outcrop of Haytor rocks dominated the scene as the peloton made the gruelling ascent to cross the line below its summit.
‘The extra visitor spend the Tour brings to the region is a welcome boost to the local economy at a time of the year when the main holiday season is drawing to an end.’
The race was watched by 17 million people worldwide.
Race director Mick Bennett added: ‘We’d like to thank Devon County Council for their support in once again putting on a fantastic stage of the Tour of Britain.
‘This year’s Tour was exciting throughout, nowhere more so than in Devon with the memorable finish in Haytor.’
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