The best Devon climbs used in the Tour of Britain

Devon's climbs have featured in the Tour of Britain nearly every year since the 1950s. A regular fixture for the pro tour visitors, the Tour de France has utilised Devon's hilly terrain on occasion, too.  

The 2021 Tour of Britain returns to Devon on 2 September 2021, hosting stage two from Sherford to Exeter. We asked the route planners of the Tour of Britain for their favourite West Country ascents.

Tour de France - Stage 2 to Plymouth 1974

 

1. Haytor Vale, Dartmoor

Probably one of the most famous summit finishes in Tour of Britain history. Simon Yates crested the mountain to win stage six in 2013. Riding for Team Sky, Wout Poels battled to the top to take a solo victory in 2016.

Start from: Bovey Tracey Village
Length: 5.7km
Average gradient: 6%
Max gradient: 12%

Challacombe Hill

2. Challacombe Hill

Short and steep, used for National Hill Climb events as well as in the 2018 Tour of Britain. The climb starts in the north west Devonshire seaside village of Woolacombe and ramps up severely in the middle with gradients at 20%. Get your breath back admiring the views over the coast.

Start from: Bay Hotel Golf Course, Challacombe Hill
Length: 1.3km
Average gradient: 13%
Max gradient: 25%

Brandle wins stage five after attack on hill

3.  Stoke Hill

In 2014, Mathias Brandle attacked Stoke Hill, and rode solo to the finish in Exeter to claim victory on stage five of the race. The actual climb used in the race runs parallel to the busier Stoke Hill. Start from the village of Stoke Canon and ride towards Exeter, pass Stoke Hill on your left, ride a little further, and turn left on Pennsylvania Road.

Start from: Stoke Road
Length: 1.6km
Average gradient: 6%
Max gradient: 8%

4. Dartmeet / Coffin Stone

Used in the 2012 Tour of Britain on stage 7, this climb is vicious. Slap bang in the middle of Exmoor, you'll need to do some climbing just to get to it, and when you do, there is a sharp ascent out of the village of Dartmeet crossing the East Dart river. You'll rise up quickly toward the peak of Sharp Tor. 

Start from: Dartmeet village
Length: 1.1km
Average gradient: 11%
Max gradient:  13%

 

 

5. Chineaway Hill

The race visited this ascent twice in 2016 and 2018. Located just outside of Ottery St. Mary, it begins at a relatively easy 4%, lulling riders into a false sense of security before jumping to 9% where the climb only steepens as you reach the top.

Start from: Ottery St. Mary, ride east on Chineaway Road.
Length: 1km
Average gradient: 11%
Max gradient: 15%

2014 Tour of Britain - Exmouth to Exeter

6. Rundlestone

New to the Tour of Britain, Rundlestone is a long burn of a climb in the heart of Dartmoor. Once you are over Rundlestone and heading east, you could tackle Dartmeet (see above). Start in Tavistock and ride the B3357 towards Merrivale and Rundlestone. It is an open climb with 360 degree views. On a sunny day you can see the coast. 

Start: Tavistock
Length: 8km
Average gradient: 4%
Max gradient: 10%

Don't miss the Tour of Britain when it returns in September.

Learn more about the 2021 edition and the Devonish stage here.

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