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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 after the final whistle at Leeds. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Mick McCarthy has plenty of credit in the bank at Ipswich Town, but that could rapidly start to run out unless things begin to change.

Brett Pitman is injured in a collision with Leeds defender Pontus Jannson

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy conceded his team were ‘poor’ in today’s 1-0 defeat at Leeds United and admitted a lack of goals is a concern.

Jonathan Douglas miss-times a volley on the edge of the Leeds penalty area

Chris Wood’s first half goal was enough to secure Leeds United a fully-deserved 1-0 home victory over Ipswich Town this afternoon with Mick McCarthy’s men lacking an attacking edge.

Freddie Sears rues a missed effort during the Ipswich Town v Aston Villa (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 17 September 2016.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Hoping for back-to-back away league wins, Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich visit Gary Monk’s Leeds.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers.
 Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy reacts incredulously to the merest suggestion captain Luke Chambers’ position in the team is under threat.

Brett Pitman celebrates scoring against Reading. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Brett Pitman will have to keep ploughing a lone furrow up front for Ipswich Town.

Villa's Nathan Baker blocks this Tom Lawrence effort during the Ipswich Town v Aston Villa (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 17 September 2016.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

There’s no disgrace in drawing with a recently-relegated, former Premier League team – but many Ipswich Town fans will feel three points were there for the taking.

Cole Skuse in action for Ipswich Town. Photo: Inpho Photography

Cole Skuse feels a pressure has been lifted now there is more balance in Ipswich Town’s midfield.

Teddy Bishop in action. Photo: Steve Waller

Teddy Bishop, Grant Ward and Luke Varney are all injury doubts for Ipswich Town ahead of Saturday’s Championship game at Leeds United.

ITFC players, Freddie Sears (pictured) and Jonas Knudsen open new sports area at Manningtree High School. The floodlit Multi Use Games Area, which has three sports courts made of tarmacadam and acrylic, was funded through a land exchange with Rose Builders of Manningtree.

Pupils got to meet football stars as Ipswich Town players opened a new sports area at a school.

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