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Joe all set for home patch role as voice of the Tour of Britain

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 31, 2012

The seventh stage of the Tour of Britain arrives in Devon on September 15 with the 170km stage from Barnstaple to Dartmouth, crossing Dartmoor

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When the Tour of Britain arrives in Devon next month, three riders from the county will be lining up alongside the likes of Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and world champion Mark Cavendish.

A Westcountry theme is running throughout this year's event with Jon Tiernan-Locke, Yanto Barker and Jeremy Hunt, who all rode for the Mid Devon Cycling Club as youngsters, among the field for the seventh stage between Barnstaple and Dartmouth on September 15.

And the man behind the microphone on the finish line of each stage of the race, which starts in Ipswich on September 9 and finishes in Guildford on September 16, will be Joe Fisher, from Exeter.

He was first introduced to the tour by Devon County Council when it asked him to commentate on the warm-up events before the Tour Series cycle race in Exeter city centre in 2009.

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He was then asked by the organisers to be the finish line commentator for all tour series and Tour of Britain stages, which he has done ever since.

"I like to call myself a 'commentertainer'," explained Mr Fisher. "It's about passion and energising the crowd.

"Some commentators stay in a box and you never see them, but I come from an entertainment background, I'm an actor and comedian and I'd like to think I've brought that side of entertainment to sport and it's a blend which works very well.

"I had been a sports announcer for a long time before getting involved with The Tour of Britain. I commentate on a lot of different sports but I love being involved in cycling.

"The banging on the boards by the crowds encapsulates the cycling atmosphere and I've started Mexican board banging instead of a Mexican wave. It makes my job much easier when the crowd respond to things like that."

"The Devon stage is always special because it's been my home for the past 20 years, I love the area and I'm passionate about the South West. It's always one of the biggest crowds and, of course, I like coming home."

Joe's energetic style has seen him just finish a stint at the recent Olympic Games, but his impressive CV also includes the Tour de France roadshow in the run up to the Prologue in London in 2007, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and a range of other major sporting events including football and triathlon.

"Two weeks working as an announcer at Old Trafford for the Olympic football was fantastic," he added. "The kudos of the event made the atmosphere very different from any other football match – the crowd were really up for it.

"Without doubt cycling has changed from five years ago when I did the Tour de France London roadshow. Back then, it was still very much a niche audience but now there has been a massive increase in people coming to watch cycling.

"It's become much more popular, the cyclists are more well-known, and I think the Tour Series and Tour of Britain have encouraged that as well."

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