OLYMPIC cycling gold medallists Bradley Wiggins (pictured) and Geraint Thomas have been confirmed as competitors in the Tour of Britain, which comes to Exmoor on Tuesday, September 9.
They will also be joined by Beijing bronze medal winner Chris Newton, and Mark Cavendish, the only Briton to win four stages of the Tour de France in a single year.
Somerset County Council is hosting the 113-mile South West stage of the Tour of Britain, which will start in Chard and finish in Burnham-on-Sea.
The race is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the county to cheer on the riders and congratulate the Olympic champions.
The Somerset stage will cross Exmoor from North Molton via Exford and Wheddon Cross to Dunster and then take the A39 and A358 to Bishops Lydeard before crossing the Quantocks and heading towards Burnham.
County council Tour of Britain project manager Graham Bagely said: “The successes in the Tour de France and the Olympics has made 2008 a really exciting year for British cycling.
“The Tour of Britain will be a great event to celebrate this success and see the stars of British cycling compete against each other in Somerset for the toughest stage of the race.”
The county’s economic development portfolio holder, Councillor Alvin Horsfall, said: “The Great Britain Olympic team has set a new standard for competitive cycling.
“It will be great for residents and visitors to see the stars of the Olympics competing in Somerset.
“Last year, the race attracted over 70,000 spectators and we hope the recent success of British cycling will attract even more crowds this year.”
Bradley Wiggins won Gold in the men’s individual pursuit and the men’s team pursuit and will represent ‘Team Columbia’ in the Tour of Britain.
Geraint Thomas won Gold in the men’s team pursuit and will represent ‘Barloworld’ in the Tour of Britain.
Chris Newton won Bronze in the men’s individual pursuit and will represent ‘Rapha Condor’ in the Tour of Britain.
Mark Cavendish is the only British rider to win four stages of the Tour de France.
He also won two stages of the Tour of Britain in 2007 and will represent ‘Team Columbia’ in this year’s race..
More information about the Tour of Britain in Somerset is available by visiting http://www.bikesomerset.co.uk/.