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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

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.”

Adam McDonnell in action against former club Shelbourne last summer

Ipswich Town have confirmed they will once again travel to Ireland for a pre-season training camp this summer, before finishing their visit with a game against Shelbourne.

The scene as Daryl Murphy celebrates his second goal at Charlton on Saturday

Ipswich Town will face newly-relegated Charlton Athletic in a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Mick McCarthy made a host of changes for the trip to Old Trafford

‘Uninspiring’, ‘frustrating’, ‘bland’ and ‘stale’ are all words used by Ipswich fans to describe a disappointing 2015/16 season, during which manager Mick McCarthy garnered mixed reviews from the Blues’ support.

Chris Brammer interviews Terry Butcher at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town and England legend Terry Butcher says the Blues will have a player on their hands if Andre Dozzell can go anywhere close to emulating his father Jason.

Chris Swailes in his days at Ipswich

Former Ipswich defender Chris Swailes became the oldest goalscorer at the new Wembley Stadium for Morpeth today despite having undergone four heart operations.

Adam Webster - Picture: Joe Pepler

Ipswich Town are preparing to tweak their approach in the Championship next season, with the signing of cultured Portsmouth centre-back Adam Webster.

Ipswich Town v Stevenage
Capital One Cup First Round.Josh Yorwerth scores  for Town .

Ipswich Town have terminated the contract of Josh Yorwerth by mutual consent.

Tommy Miller

Former Ipswich midfielder Tommy Miller could end the season on a bittersweet note on Sunday.

Brett Pitman battles with Adam Webster

Portsmouth defender Adam Webster is set to sign for Ipswich Town.

Chris Swailes in his Ipswich Town days

Defender Chris Swailes could become a record-breaker on Sunday, if he is confirmed to be the oldest player to feature in a Wembley final, and the 45-year-old owes an awful lot to Ipswich Town.

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