THE countdown has begun to the biggest day in Devon's cycling history, with the passing of stage seven of the Tour of Britain through the county on Saturday. The race will feature Tour of France winner and London Olympics gold medallist Bradley Wiggins and World Road Race champion Mark Cavendish.

Tavistock Wheelers, in partnership with the Dartmoor National Park Authority, is staging a 'Team and Young rider hill climb' event on the morning of Stage 7, to help celebrate the day. It takes place on the iconic Merrivale Hill, on the road between Tavistock and Princetown, which also sees a King of the Mountain stage later in the day in the Tour.

Already entries for the Wheelers event are full, with more than 80 riders taking part. These include the cream of West Devon and Plymouth hill climbers, and top teams from further afield.

There is also an event for corporate teams, which include local businesses, and charities and for young riders, which has attracted 20 local youngsters —clear indication of the popularity of competitive cycling currently. Prizes for the event have been donated by local Princetown businesses.

The first ride starts at 8.30 am and the best will take just seven minutes to complete the course, which starts outside the Dartmoor Inn, Merrivale, up to the lay by, before the road into Princetown.

The Dartmoor National Park Authority is providing a number of attractions on the day, to make Princetown an ideal base to watch the passing of the Tour.

n For further information contact Geoff Whitlow, chair of Tavistock Wheelers, on 078315 89943 or 01822 811046.

For details about the Tavistock Wheelers visit the website">