Westcountry pro Steve aims to hit the heights at Haytor
Posted on: 2 September 2016
One of the region’s top pro cyclists spent a day scouting the route of this year’s Devon stage of The Tour of Britain.
The Tour of Britain starts in Glasgow on Sunday September 4 with the Devon Stage Six returning 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 Truro, 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.
“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 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!”
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
Follow Tour of Britain on social media. Twitter: #ToB2016, @SWTourofBritain, @TourofBritain, http://twitter.com/SWTourofBritain
For information about road closures, where to watch the race and other advice go to: https://www.devontourofbritain.co.uk/
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