Cycling’s national 25-mile Time Trial Championship will be held between Hatherleigh and Holsworthy in 2011. A report on the This is North Devon website said that the South West District Committee has accepted an invitation by the National Committee of Cycling Time Trials and hopes to run the event between the two towns, giving both towns a boost.
The championship is due to take in June and the course, between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh, has not been used in recent years partly because of the buzzard which was swooping on cyclists travelling the A3072.
The decision to host the championship in the area has been met with enthusiasm by councillors in both towns.
Holsworthy mayor, Cllr Liz Squire, said: "This will be a wonderful opportunity for us and will really put Holsworthy on the map which is excellent. There was such a huge following in Bideford and Hatherleigh with the Tour of Britain so this could be very exciting for Holsworthy.
And Mayor of Hatherleigh, Cllr Malcolm Jacobs, added: "I feel cycling is the route for towns like Holsworthy and Hatherleigh to go down in terms of attracting tourism to both places because that is a kind of tourism that is a niche looking for a home and if we can capitalise on in, that is great."
The announcement is another reason to cheer for cycling fans in the south west after Hatherleigh and Bideford hosted two stages of this year’s Tour of Britain. Around 15,000 people lined the streets in Bideford to watch the cyclists finish stage six, and another 3,000 were in Hatherleigh for the start of stage seven.
Councillors in Devon hoped that the Tour of Britain would lead to more youngsters turning to cycling to improve their health as well as the environment, and create the next generation of cyclists. And the Time Trial Championships should have the same affect.
Cycling Time Trials South West district secretary, Ken Robertson, said in a letter to Holsworthy and Hatherleigh town councils: "All of us who are involved in cycling were very impressed with the way that Hatherleigh made the recent Tour of Britain welcome - we believe that they got the best send off from Hatherleigh of all the start towns in this year's event. Hopefully that can be replicated in 2011."