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Scenery, not racers, prompt us to get on our bikes in Westcountry

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 14, 2012

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The Westcountry's stunning scenery is a key factor in encouraging people to get out on their bikes, according to new research conducted in advance of the Tour of Britain arriving in Devon.

The event, which started on Saturday and travels from Barnstaple to Dartmouth on its penultimate leg tomorrow, features some of the nation's cycling superstars, including Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

But a new study has shown that more than half of cyclists in the South West are more motivated by the chance to explore stunning countryside than by the big-name racers.

The research, commissioned by Tour of Britain sponsor Yodel, found that 56% like to get out on two wheels to enjoy a local route, while nearly a third head further afield within the South West. More than two thirds prefer to cycle alone.

Despite the fantastic routes, cyclists in the South West only cover an average of 24 miles a month – less than half the distance of those in Wales, who cover an average of 56 miles in the same period, and less than a quarter of the distance the Tour of Britain competitors will race between Barnstaple and Dartmouth on Saturday.

Yodel chief executive Jonathan Smith said: "This has been a fantastic year for British cycling and, as a result, we're all expecting this year's Tour of Britain to be the most exciting to date.

"It is a fantastic illustration of what teamwork and dedication can achieve in any field, from delivering parcels to winning accolades."

Each stage of the tour will include three Yodel sprints, and the fastest cyclist over those three distances will be awarded the official green Yodel sprints jersey at the end of the stage.

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