HERE Wiggo – Bradley and Co are on their way!

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Olympic gold medal-winning hero Bradley Wiggins will be in Ipswich on Sunday for the start of the Tour of Britain – and the town is going sideburns silly in his honour.

He will be joined by world champ Mark Cavendish along with a host of top names from the cycling world.

But Wiggins is the undoubted star of the show following his London 2012 time trial glory and Tour de France triumph.

And Wiggomania is sweeping Ipswich.

Keith Russell tackles 200m section of Tour of Britain route

A keen cyclist is getting ready for his longest ever ride in aid of a military charity.

Keith Russell, 60, will be part of the Tour Ride – a 200km ride giving cyclists the chance to take on the opening stage of this year’s Tour of Britain – from Ipswich to Norfolk Showground, just a day before the world’s top cyclists tackle the same route.

Mr Russell, a special educational needs administrator at Suffolk New Academy, will take on the 200km ride with three friends.

He said: “It’s been hard work training but we hope it’ll be worth it.”

Setting off tomorrow from Christchurch Park, riders will head through Woodbridge, Leiston, Southwold, Lowestoft and onto Norfolk and Great Yarmouth.

The route loops around the north of Norwich to the finish at Norfolk Showground.

Mr Russell, who only started cycling five years ago, will be raising money for PTSD Resolution, a charity supporting servicemen and women suffering with post-traumatic stress.

He said: “It’s horrendous to see what these young people are going through. I thought of doing a big ride for Help for Heroes a while back but I couldn’t do it because it was in term-time, then a friend at work mentioned some fundraising they were doing for PTSD Resolution.”

Visit www.tourride.co.uk for more information.

The cyclist’s iconic facial hair has been one of the main talking points with members of the public going bonkers for Bradley by donning fake sidburns to look like their idol.

Mary Green, owner of Games and Giggles in The Walk, said stick-on sideburns have been flying off the shelves since Wiggins won the Tour de France.

“They have been selling like hotcakes since the Tour de France and the Olympics,” she added.

“We had an Olympic podium display in the window and we stuck the sideburns on that, too.

“Bradley Wiggins is the man of the moment and we are quite lucky that he is coming to Ipswich and through Suffolk with the Tour of Britain.

“He is such a character and that is what has taken people’s attention.”

Even Ipswich butcher George Debman has got in on the act – using sausages as sideburns!

Speaking after he won gold last month, Wiggins admitted: “Sideburns have not been as popular since Noddy Holder.”

Thousands of spectators will cheer riders on when the Tour of Britain sets off from the Waterfront.

The Tour starts at Neptune Quay at 10am. The 102 cyclists will weave their way along the Suffolk coast, with the 200km first stage finishing in Norfolk.

Last year, around 150,000 people saw the Tour pass through the region.

And organisers are urging fans to catch a glimpse of the riders from Christchurch Park as well as the Waterfront.

Race director Mick Bennett said: “Crowds for the Tour have been unprecedented for the previous two years and I have also spoken to racers, who competed in the Tour de France, who said they have never seen crowds like those at the Tour of Britain.

“The event is also on people’s doorsteps and is a chance to see the best riders in the world.”

Mayor of Ipswich Mary Blake will officially start the race from outside University Campus Suffolk.

Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for culture and leisure, said: “Ipswich is being gripped by Wiggo-fever and we all excited about seeing the start of a race which is higher profile than ever thanks to our triumphs in the Tour de France and the Olympics.

“The Waterfront will be the centre of attention on Sunday but there are other great places, like Christchurch Park, to watch Bradley, Cav and the boys go through.”

Send us your pics of the Tour of Britain by visiting iwitness24.co.uk

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