One of the South West’s top pro cyclists spent a day scouting the route of this year’s Devon stage of the Tour of Britain earlier this month, previewing the stage that will finish there on Friday 9 September.

Steve Lampier, 32, a talented climber who rides for the JLT Condor presented by Mavic team, visited Chudleigh and Haytor, which he calls his ‘favourite climb’. 

The Tour of Britain starts in Glasgow on Sunday (4 September) with the Devon Stage returning Britain’s biggest bike race to the county on Friday 9 September. 

""The 93-mile route starts in Sidmouth and takes in communities including Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Willand, Tiverton, Crediton, Moretonhampstead, Chudleigh and Bovey Tracey on the way before the only summit finish of this year’s race, Haytor.

Devon County Council, supported by East Devon District Council, Teignbridge District Council and Dartmoor National Park, will host Stage Six of The Tour, starting in Sidmouth and finishing at Haytor.

Steve, based in Lancashire and New Zealand but originally from Helston in Cornwall, has twice finished in the top 20 of the Tour of Britain.

In 2013 he was 12th on Haytor, the highest placed rider from a domestic team and third Brit behind Simon Yates and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

He said: “This will be as good as a home stage for me – my Mum will be here cheering me on and providing me with pasties and saffron buns! 

“It’s as local as I’m going to get. I spent my youth racing in and around Devon, Exeter and Westpoint.”

Steve splits his training between the South West and New Zealand where his partner lives and with just days to go before the Tour starts, he says he is happy with how training has gone. 

“The South West is the best area in the world to train. It’s the ruggedness of the hills and we have better weather than other parts of the country.”

He has already shown his ability in this season's tough UCI races. In 2016 he finished 5th overall in the New Zealand Cycling Classic and then was among a select group of leaders in the gruelling Cadel Evans Road Race, won by British Champion Pete Kennaugh.

He added: “I’m really looking forward to the stage. Team moral was very good here last time and I finished 12th, a significant performance for me. Without a doubt Haytor is my favourite climb. The steepness and distance is perfect for me.

“I’m in a better position physically and mentally this year and my personal goal is to repeat my previous performance.” 

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways with responsibility for cycling, said: “Steve is a regular to the Tour and as a Westcountry lad we will all be routing for him.

“This is a fantastic line up for the Devon leg of the Tour of Britain. At last count there were half-a-dozen Olympic medallists lining up as well as world record holders, national champions and some of the best sprinters and climbers in the world. 

“We have so many world class athletes competing right on our doorstep and it’s free to watch. It doesn’t get better than that!”

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio holder for the Environment and a keen cyclist himself, said:

“On behalf of East Devon I would like to wish Steve Lampier the very best of luck in the Tour of Britain. I’m sure his training on the tough Cornish hills will stand him in good stead when he is climbing the steep hills of East Devon. Steve sets a brilliant example to people of all ages, but especially to youngsters, to get out there cycling in the fresh air.”

Councillor George Gribble, Teignbridge District Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Spokesman for Recreation and Leisure said:

“There’s always a fantastic, international feel to the Tour of Britain and it’s great to see a rider from the South West lining up alongside riders from around the world. We look forward to welcoming all the riders, their teams and thousands of supporters to the Devon stage of the Tour next month.”  

In total the 2016 Tour of Britain will have 21 teams and 126 riders competing and over the last week a host of world class cyclists including former Tour of Britain jersey winners Mark McNally and Boy Van Poppel have announced they will race.

Italians including double Giro d’Italia Points Classification winner Giacomo Nizzolo and this year’s Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto have also confirmed as have the winners of the Tour of Britain’s past two summit finishes Wout Poels (Team Sky) and Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF).

Pictured below, Wout Poels winning in Teignmouth, Devon during the 2010 Tour of Britain.

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Olympic Games Time Trial Silver medallist Tom Dumoulin, who rides for Team Giant Alpecin,  is one of a quartet of top time trialists to be added to the provisional rider line-up, including Movistar Team’s British Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett, Team Sky’s Ian Stannard and former Under-23 World Time Trial Championship Silver medallist Ryan Mullen.

The four join a provisional list of ace time trialists that already includes Sir Bradley Wiggins, Taylor Phinney and Rohan Dennis who will be targeting the Tour of Britain’s 15-kilometre individual time trial in Bristol on Saturday 10 September

Olympic Gold medallist Elia Viviani (ITA) has also confirmed and will be joined on the Tour of Britain start line by another Rio medallist, Jack Bobridge of Trek Segafredo, who won Silver in the Team Pursuit for Austalia.  The duo takes the number of 2016 Olympic medallists confirmed for the Tour of Britain to eight, alongside Gold medallists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Owain Doull, and Silver medallists Mark Cavendish, Tom Dumoulin, Michael Hepburn and Alex Edmondson.

Viviani will lead Team Sky, who also include this year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Wout Poels and British duo Ian Stannard and Ben Swift, plus current Irish Road Race and Time Trial Champion Nicolas Roche.

Another National Champion riding in the Tour of Britain will be Dutch Road Race Champion Dylan Groenewegen, who already has one victory on British roads in 2016 having taken the opening stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in April.

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Tour de France top 10 finisher Dan Martin will lead Etixx Quick-Step. This will be the first time he has ridden the Tour since 2013, when he finished 13th in the overall standings.

Etixx Quick-Step hold the record for the most stage wins in the Tour of Britain (18 victories) and have won three stages in each of the past two editions of the Tour of Britain.  

Joining Dan Martin will be three-time World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin, Tour de Suisse stage winner Maximiliano Richeze, Lukasz Wisniowski and Adrien Costa.

Also riding is Belgian Julien Vermote, who won Stage Seven to Brighton in his last appearance in the Tour of Britain in 2014. The current rider list can be found here.

For information about road closures, where to watch the race and other spectator information for the Haytor finish click here.