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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.”

Toumani Diagouraga, pictured during his time at Brentford

Ipswich Town are reportedly close to sign Leeds United midfielder Toumani Diagouraga on loan from fellow Championship club Leeds United.

Ipswich are stunned by Lincoln's late FA Cup winner. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town end a difficult week with a tricky game at Championship high-fliers Huddersfield Town this afternoon.

Town battle it out at Lincoln City

Ipswich Town will hope to put the horror of two poor games against Lincoln City in the FA Cup third round with a victory when they return to league duty this weekend.

Shaun with Simon Milton (left) and Mick McCarthy.

Just months after former Suffolk footballer Shaun Whiter was left for dead after a horrific hit and run accident, he is set to take on a 150-mile cycling challenge.

Jordan Spence, pictured during his trial at Ipswich Town last September. Photo: JAMES AGER

Ipswich Town have signed free agent right-back Jordan Spence until the end of the season. The former West Ham and MK Dons man, 26, spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s Championship game at Huddersfield.

Christophe Berra in a battle with Huddersfield pair Jonathan Hogg (6) and Mark Hudson during the second half of the Ipswich Town v Huddersfield (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 01 October 2016.   Picture: Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

There is surely only one way Ipswich Town can go now after the embarrassment of a third round replay defeat to Lincoln City in the FA Cup on Tuesday – up.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he has never doubted himself.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy pictured after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Lincoln City. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

More and more Ipswich Town supporters have been calling for Mick McCarthy to be sacked following Tuesday night’s humiliating FA Cup defeat at non-league side Lincoln City. STUART WATSON quizzed the Blues boss in today’s press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Huddersfield.

Adam Webster is out for the season

Ipswich Town’s ailing season has been dealt another blow with the news that star defender Adam Webster will be out injured for the rest of the campaign.

An unhappy Mick McCarthy at Sincil Bank after losing to Lincoln in the FA Cup third round replay.

It’s time for a change of manager at Portman Road.

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