CROWDS hailed the arrival of the Tour of Britain and some of cycling's biggest stars into Exeter.
Flags lined the route of the High Street to welcome the riders, who started the Devon stage in Sidmouth and ended it at Haytor on Dartmoor. The stage was won by British rider Simon Yates while Bradley Wiggins subsequently went on to take the overall title.
And although Exeter's part of the tour was all over in the blink of an eye, the experience of seeing the likes of Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the flesh made it all worthwhile for the assembled masses.
John Shipman, 79, of Topsham who attended the event with his wife Margaret, said: "I am a lifetime member of Exeter Wheelers and have been involved in cycling since my teens so it is fair to say I am a bit of an enthusiast.
"I was very keen to see the Tour of Britain go through the city centre. It is the first time I have seen it in Exeter but I remember there used to be one in the Fifties and a crowd of us going out around Honiton to watch it there."
Anthony Whittaker, 69, of Chulmleigh, was with wife Patsy, 77. He said: "This is a really good thing for the area and I was particularly looking forward to see Bradley Wiggins.
"We always come in to anything going on around Exeter and there is a brilliant atmosphere today."
George Dannatt, 65, of Beacon Heath, said: "I have been watching it on the television so it is great to see it in the flesh. There are a lot of people and the atmosphere is fantastic."
Keith Frobisher, 73, of Dawlish, was among those watching in the High Street. He said: "These guys are amazingly fit and dedicated and it's great to be able to see them in the flesh. We've become a cycling country and the Tour of Britain is becoming a big event and to have it in Devon is good for the area."
The 85 mile (137 km) route took in Sidbury, Honiton, Willand, Tiverton, Exeter, Chudleigh, Moretonhampstead and Bovey Tracey.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "It was marvellous to see so many people turn out for the 10th anniversary Tour. Last year more than 220,000 people were watching along the route, and I'm sure we must have topped that today – probably more than a quarter of a million turned out.
"We got to see a British winner and Sir Bradley Wiggins kept the IG Gold Jersey. And with the Indian Summer arriving the thousands of visitors and millions of people watching on TV got to see Devon at its best."
Devon has featured in The Tour over the past seven years. bringing more than £21m to the local economy.