The Tour of Britain proved a triumph for the Westcountry – and a sensational boost for one of its rising sports stars at the weekend.
Thousands turned out on Saturday for stage seven of the Tour – from Barnstaple to Dartmouth – and cheer on local boy Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, 27, the race leader.
By yesterday, as the Tour finished in Guildford Surrey, their cheers bore fruit as the Plymouth-based cyclist, whose early career was dogged by illness, retained the leader's IG gold jersey and took the top podium place.
Tiernan-Locke, the second ever Briton to win the home Tour, put part of his success down to an intimate knowledge of the Devon stage, which proved to be the best supported of the entire route.
Race director Mike Bennett told the Western Morning News: "This was the best atmosphere I've experienced at a stage in the nine years we've been running the Tour of Britain."
County and district councillor Brian Greenslade, from North Devon, said the Tour was a boost for Devon. "I am sure the coverage will inspire people to come here for some rest and relaxation," he added.