The Great Tour, a 64-day, 6,900 kilometre awareness and fundraising cycle ride around the British coast will reach Devon next week.
Two cyclists – Hugh Roberts and Robin Young – are aiming to ride around the entire coastline of Great Britain, having got underway from the Isle of Wight on Saturday 4 July.
The pair arrive in north Devon on Day 54, Wednesday 26 August, when they cycle 118 kilometres from Porlock to Clovelly, before cycling on the 106 kilometres Padstow the following day (Thursday 27 August).
After four days cycling around Cornwall, The Great Tour will then return to Devon on Day 60 (Tuesday 1 September), arriving in Plymouth after 91 kilometres from the Eden Project near St Austell.
The Great Tour will then continue along the south Devon coast, visiting Dartmouth (Wednesday 2 September) and Seaton (Thursday 3 September) before the event finishes back on the Isle of Wight on Saturday 5 September.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “It’s marvellous to welcome this fantastic charity cycle ride to the county again and I hope Hugh and Robin get a lot of support while passing through Devon. Without The Tour of Britain this year, the organisers deserve credit for taking on this epic challenge again.
“The Great Tour is an amazing achievement, raising funds for some great causes. We take a lot of pride in being a cycling county and as Devon was the start and finish point of the inaugural Great Tour 10 years ago, it has a great affinity with the county.”
Commenting on The Great Tour so far, Hugh Roberts said: “The Great Tour has reminded of the sense of absolute freedom and satisfaction that you get from riding along our unsurpassable richly varied coastlines.
“Devon will certainly signify that we are nearly ‘home’ and I look forward to returning to Seaton, where the first Great Tour in 2010 started and finished.
“We are looking forward to completing the rest of this cycling odyssey which I hope thousands more people will be able to enjoy in years to come.”
Looking ahead to reaching Devon on The Great Tour, Robin Young said: “The toughest part of the ride is still to come in the south west, and with family living in the South Hams I know just how tough the roads in Devon can be for cycling.
“People are making the effort all seem worthwhile with their support. We’re at about 20% of our funding target now and expecting this to swell as the finish line approaches. Our target of £69,000 is equivalent to £10 per km. If we can achieve that or more, the Great Tour and our charity partners Diabetes UK and Ambitious About Autism will be ecstatic.”
In 2020 The Great Tour is raising money for two charities, Diabetes UK and Ambitious about Autism and has the support of partners Ascot Lloyd, a leading UK independent financial advice firm and ŠKODA.
Inspired by The Great Tour event that took place in 2010 and 2015, The Great Tour ride aims to fill the gap between when the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain professional cycle races should have taken place, had they not been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following its start in Cornwall, the Tour of Britain had been due to visit Devon for on Monday 7 September, which has now been delayed by a year to September 2021.
This year’s Great Tour ride aims to help create an annual fundraising ride around a recognised and waymarked cycle route around the whole coastline of Britain from 2021 onwards.
From 2021 the Great Tour ride will be the fundraising flagship of The Great Tour, for which charitable status is being sought. This annual event will raise money to support projects or charities in community, health and environmental sectors – all of which are consistent with the Great Tour’s ethos.
Past editions of The Great Tour in 2010 and 2015 have supported a range of health charities, including The Prostate Cancer Charity, MacMillan and Anthony Nolan.
Following the coastline as closely as possible by bike, and never losing the sight, the sound, the smell of the sea or sense of the sea, The Great Tour route takes in 6,700 kilometres of roads, cycle paths and green lanes around the country in a celebration of Britain’s coastline.