Devon welcomes Tour of Britain

Today it's Devon's turn to welcome the Tour of Britain Credit: ITV Westcountry

The great summer of sport has a grand finale for the West Country today (Saturday) as Devon plays host to the penultimate stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain. This year of British success that began with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France might well end with the first home winner of the cycle race in its history. If that wasn’t prize enough then the race leader, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, is from Plymouth.**

The Endura team rider finished second on Friday’s stage in Wales but has a thirteen second lead of the race overall and will look to cement first place on roads he knows extremely well.**

Amid the euphoria there is some disappointment. The welcome signs for Bradley Wiggins are out in Barnstaple but the best cyclist on the planet won't be racing. A stomach bug has ended his Tour of Britain early.**

There is disappointment that Bradley Wiggins will not be racing Credit: ITV Westcountry

More than fifteen thousand people are expected in Barnstaple this morning to see the riders off on the rolling start out of the town at 10.15am. The teams will travel the one hundred and seventy three kilometres to the finish in Dartmouth via Bideford, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, and Tavistock before heading across Dartmoor to Ashburton and into the South Hams for the finish at around 2pm. After a wet summer businesses are hoping the crowds will bring a late economic bonus as organisers forecast that the event is worth three million pounds to the county.**

If Jonathan Tiernan-Locke can stay ahead of his rivals today then he’ll more than likely be crowned Tour of Britain champion at the final stage in Guildford on Sunday.**