The Tour of Britain drew an extra 7,000 to Barnstaple for the Devon stage
THE Tour of Britain drew an extra 7,000 people into Barnstaple.
Stage seven of the event started in Barnstaple on September 15 and featured cycling stars including former world road race champion, Mark Cavendish.
Crowds of spectators lined the streets to cheer on the cyclists and a Big Cycling Weekend in Barnstaple which featured criterium races the night before the tour arrived was hailed a great success.
The town centre usually has around 23,000 visitors on a Saturday. This rose to about 30,000 that weekend.
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Mark Kentell, North Devon Council's contracts delivery manager, said: "We were very pleased with the turnout."
He said tour race director, Mick Bennett, declared the Devon stage as the best in the race's modern history.
Councillor Rodney Cann said: "Barnstaple was transformed when the Long Bridge was closed and there was a totally different atmosphere."
North Devon Council earmarked £3,500 for the event to buy recycle bins. A total of £1,785 was spent and the rest will now be used for other sporting events including the Barnstaple tennis open.