Barnstaple - Dartmouth
The Tour of Britain wouldn’t feel like the Tour of Britain if it didn’t pop in for a cream tea, so it’s good to see Devon hosting the penultimate stage this year. With Dartmoor National Park to play with the route is going to be a toughie especially if the good old British weather remains as unpredictable as it has so far this year – the Moor is a nice place to be on a sunny day, but if it’s damp, foggy, chilly, windy or all of these it can feel like one of the toughest places in Britain to ride a bike!
Unlike this year’s Tour de France we don’t expect the race for the IG Markets Gold Tour of Britain leaders jersey to have been completely sewn up by the penultimate stage so Devon could help decide the overall winner. Three categorised climbs – two Cat 1 and one Cat 2 – should make the sprinters struggle, though the last of these is 65km from the end, so they may have clawed their way back before the finish in Dartmouth.
Mildly interesting stage fact off of the Internet
The final KoM climb takes riders past the Coffin Stone on Dartmeet Hill. Local legend is that the body of an evil chap was laid there so God struck the stone with a thunderbolt, destroying the coffin and splitting the stone in two.