Devon fans shine in Tour of Britain
- Credit: Paul Cowley
Devon did the Tour of Britain proud once again with huge crowds packing towns, villages and all the major climbs around the 115-mile Stage Two of this year's race.
Everything, including the glorious weather, was perfect - except the tactics of the world's best teams!
The big stars in the 100-plus field miscalculated badly, let a breakaway group build up too big a lead and then couldn't catch solo American winner Robin Carpenter on the run-in to the finish in Exeter.
Carpenter (Rally Cycling), 29, who had never won a race in Europe, got in the day's main break of five riders as the race left the new town of Sherford and did a circuit of the South Hams, through Totnes, Dartmouth, Strete, Torcross and Kingsbridge before heading up to Tavistock and over Dartmoor.
Their lead yo-yoed between two and seven minutes, as the main field clearly thought that the leaders would crack under the cloudless skies.
But Carpenter, from Philadelphia, steadily whittled the breakaway down to just one rival, Briton Jacob Scott of the Canyon dhb SunGod team.
Carpenter made his winning move on the climb of Doccombe near Moretonhampstead.
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He dropped Scott and, in his own words, went 'really, really deep' on the run-in to Exeter, eventually winning by 33 seconds from the fast-finishing chasers to grab the overall leader's jersey as well as the biggest stage victory of his career.
He was the star of the show, along with those tens of thousands of 'fans' who cheered him on.
The Tour moves on to two days in Wales before heading north to the finish in Aberdeen on Sunday.