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Gallery: Cycling fans get rare treat as they meet riders from The Women’s Tour

PUBLISHED: 17:41 11 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:41 11 May 2014

The start of Women's tour of Britain Stage 5. Harwich 
Matrix

The start of Women's tour of Britain Stage 5. Harwich Matrix

Top name cyclists mingled with the crowds in Essex today before riding out on the fifth and final stage of the first ever Women’s Tour of Britain.

The start of Women's tour of Britain Stage 5. Harwich 
The start of Women's tour of Britain Stage 5. Harwich

The fifth stage began in Dovercourt at 10am , and a huge number of spectators lined the beginning of the route to watch the cyclists sign on at the podium before the official start.

Racing proper got underway further along the route at Parkeston.

The assembled crowds, bolstered by cyclists taking part in the 21st annual Tour de Tendring fun cycle ride which set off 30 minutes behind the professional race, were the first to hear leading British rider Lizzie Armitstead was retiring from the race due to illness.

Peter Hodges, spokesman for the race organisers, said: “The starts are nice, a bit more relaxed, and people can actually see and speak to the riders, it is all open to the public.

“It has been encouraging to hear from the advance team or race organisers of crowds right along the route, though it is what we have come to expect of this area where people always turn out in support.”

Youngsters from Chase Lane Primary School had the chance to ride out over the start line ahead of the professionals.

Councillor Fred Nicholls, vice-chairman of Tendring District Council, said: “It is absolutely brilliant this has come to Tendring and put us on the map. The exposure we have had as a result can only be good, it has been excellent so far.

“The amount of people coming out in support both in Clacton at the end of stage three, here today, and along the route has been incredible.”

Danny Rowe is determined to kick on from his impressive full debut for Ipswich Town.

Ipswich Town find themselves at a crucial juncture.

An experimental Ipswich Town side lost 1-0 at rock-bottom Rotherham United on Saturday.

Ipswich Town lost 1-0 at rock-bottom Rotherham yesterday. Blues reporter Stuart Watson gives his verdict.

Ipswich Town’s inconsistent season continued with a 1-0 defeat at rock-bottom Rotherham on Saturday, the big talking point being Mick McCarthy’s decision to make nine changes to his starting XI.

Suffolk Girls and Womens Football League

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Copleston 0

The Ipswich Town ladies development team were crowned deserved champions of the Suffolk Girls and Womens Football League, after comfortably beating Copleston 6-0, in a game where plenty of chances were created but weren’t finished off by the home side.

I had a wild and foolish thought on Saturday morning.

Ipswich Town lost 1-0 at Rotherham United in a Championship match on Saturday. Here’s your Blues analysis.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has no regrets over making wholesale changes to his team for this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat at rock-bottom Rotherham United.

It’s beyond typical that I should have to write this column on the back of the 1-0 defeat at already-relegated Rotherham United after missing out on writing in the aftermath of that fantastic win over Newcastle United a week ago.

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