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

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.”

Mick McCarthy communicates to his players at Ashton Gate

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits it has been ‘one step forwards, one step back’ for his side this season following today’s 2-0 defeat at Bristol City.

Luke Chambers reacts in disbelief as the referee awards Bristol City a first half penalty. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at Bristol City for the second season in succession courtesy of a controversial first half penalty and a second half screamer.

Cole Skuse on the ball during the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 October 2016.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

It was the Blue’s biggest win of the season – but after defeating QPR Mick McCarthy’s men now have to show they can start putting together back-to-back wins in order to climb up the table.

Luke Varney congratulates Tom Lawrence after he had given Town a 3-0 lead in the Ipswich Town v Queens Park Rangers (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 26 November 2016.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town head to Ashton Gate this afternoon, aiming to record back-to-back wins in the Championship for the first time this season.

Cole Skuse beats Conor Coady to the ball at Wolves

Cole Skuse returns to Ashton Gate for the first time as an opposition player today, when his Ipswich Town side travel to Bristol City.

Luke Chambers celebrates Ipswich Town's recent win at Sheffield Wednesday

One goal either way could well prove decisive when Ipswich Town play at Ashton Gate, the home of Bristol City, tomorrow (3pm kick-off).

Town manager Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy will stick with his winning formula at Bristol City tomorrow, even if his team selection remains unpopular amongst some supporters.

Cole Skuse

Blues midfielder Cole Skuse will celebrate with relish, should he get on the scoresheet at former club Bristol City tomorrow.

Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy said he had never encountered any stories of child abuse in football until this week, and says the number of alleged victims is “appalling”.

Cole Skuse.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has taken the unusual step of naming his side for Saturday’s trip to Bristol City - the Blues set to be unchanged for the Championship game at Ashton Gate.

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