HOSTING the first stage of Britain’s biggest cycling race is a coup for Suffolk in any year.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

But hot on the heels of a summer that has seen British cycling dominate the Olympics and Tour of France yesterday’s stage was a major boost.

Crowds turned out in their thousands to catch a glimpse of cycling stars Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish race through the county.

Standing on Ipswich Waterfront in the blazing sunshine yesterday morning you got the feeling if Suffolk was ever going to have a revolution in cycling, now was the moment.

Riders - for a warm-up and also presumably to help further boost the sport’s popularity - began with a slow ride from Neptune Quay, along St Peter’s Street, Buttermarket and Upper Brook Street, and out to Christchurch Park.

From there they went out on Woodbridge Road towards Kesgrave, where, in Main Road, the race itself got underway.

The 126.1-mile route snaked through some of Suffolk’s most beautiful countryside as it went via Melton, Woodbridge, Snape, Aldeburgh, Westleton and Southwold. After hitting Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth riders turned inland, traversing across north of Norwich and looping back around to finish at Norfolk Showground.

“It was absolutely wonderful,” said councillor Peter Cox, mayor of Aldeburgh, who watched the race from the steps of Moot Hall. “As far as you could see to Thorpeness it was packed, all along the seafront.

“It was a wonderful spectacle. I was looking forward to it but once it had gone I turned to my wife and said ‘wow’.

“Everyone was cheering and clapping and the police motorcyclists were slapping hands as they went past and that really helped to get the crowds going.”

Ipswich Mayor, councillor Mary Blake, said: “The national focus is on Ipswich today.

“This is the culmination of lots of Olympic events. It’s a fantastic time, it puts Ipswich under the spotlight and the whole of Suffolk.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity - there’s a great feeling following the Olympics and Paralympics not just to get together but to be more active.”

The Tour of Britain was the professional icing on the cake for a weekend of cycling - on Saturday biking enthusiasts got to test out the same Ipswich-Norfolk Showground route as Wiggins and Co did yesterday. And straight after Ipswich enjoyed the start of the Tour of Britain race on Sunday, the town hosted a SkyRide, a three-and-a-half mile circuit around the town, which participants could tackle as many times as they wished.

4 comments

  • Well said Joseph

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

  • Went to the waterfront to see the start of tour of Britain really excited, only to be left deflated. As I'm a mobility scooter user I was told to go to another entrance, when I arrived there I was told I couldn't go down that road because no vehicles allowed. A security guard had to ask permission if I could just go down the path to be closer to the start. This is apparently because no cycles were allowed in this area, "how can you answer me does a mobility scooter resemble a bike?" . The security guard then returned and said it was ok, but I was not allowed to go to far.."with all the hype around the Paralympics can there not be disabled facility's at such a documented event?" not only this I found the security guards attitudes to be somewhat impertinent towards me. I am conscious when I use my scooter and this has knocked my confidence for six. Yours somewhat disgruntled Toni Higgs

    Report this comment

    tonihiggs

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

  • This event with the wonderful weather was just fantastic for the Town, well done to Ipswich Borough, Suffolk County Council and all others involved. A big thank you is deserved. It is time we actually championed out Town big time because it is a lovely place, be positive.

    Report this comment

    Joseph Marshall

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

  • This event with the wonderful weather was just fantastic for the Town, well done to Ipswich Borough, Suffolk County Council and all others involved. A big thank you is deserved. It is time we actually championed out Town big time because it is a lovely place, be positive.

    Report this comment

    Joseph Marshall

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT