A RECORD number of spectators lined the route as the Tour of Britain bike race sped through Somerset in 2009.

Stage Six, from Frome to Bideford, was won by Norwegian cyclist Edvald Boasson Hagen, of Team Columbia-HTC.

The cyclists pedalled hard up the steep incline of Cothelstone Hill before heading via Cotford St Luke to Wiveliscombe.

They then went through Devil’s Elbow to Dulverton and made it to the finish line in Bideford.

The sprint stage at Wiveliscombe and the King of the Mountain contest at Devil’s Elbow were both won by Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt, of Topsport Vlaanderen.

Hundreds of spectators turned out in Cotford, Wiveliscombe and Dulverton with schoolchildren cheering them on.

Cllr David Huxtable, cabinet member for resources at Somerset County Council, said: “The council has sponsored the Tour of Britain from 2007 to 2011 in an effort to boost the local economy and promote cycling as a fun and healthy activity.

“Stage Six went really well and I enjoyed watching the riders cross the line at the finish in Yeovil the following day.”