The route for the South West stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race was unveiled today.

The South West will host two stages, with the first set to start at West Somerset Railway Station in Minehead, pass through Huish Champflower, Wiveliscombe and Wellington and finish in Teignmouth, Devon on September 14.

The 171km route will make up the fourth stage of the eight-day tour and is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators. Last year the event attracted a quarter-of-a-million spectators to the South West and gave a £5.8m boost to the Somerset and Devon Counties’ economies.

Graham Bagley, Somerset County Council’s Tour of Britain Project Manager, said: “Last year lots of towns and villages along the race routes celebrated holding their own community events which created a great atmosphere in the build up to the race passing through – we hope that even more local communities will be inspired to do a similar thing this year.”

He said the event has been organised to cause minimal disruption to hosting towns and villages: “We are starting just over the highway in Minehead so roads are not closed for too long. They will be closed for only about half an hour when the race starts. We are encouraging shops to stay open and make the most of the event.”