East Anglia: Suffolk and Norfolk gear up for Tour of Britain

SUFFOLK and Norfolk are preparing for a return visit next month from The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycling race.

Having drawn an estimated 250,000 spectators around the two counties when they were included in the tour last year, Suffolk and Norfolk county councils worked to bring the event back, supported by Adnams which is headline sponsor for the stage.

The riders are due to leave the Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds at 10.15am on Saturday, September 17 and will follow a 200 kilometre (124 mile) route to finish at Sandringham, making it the longest Tour of Britain stage since 2004.

From Bury, the route will take the competitors through Lavenham (where they are expected to arrive at 10.45am) and Hadleigh (11.04am) to Ipswich (where they are due at Christchurch Park at 11.30am). It will then take them north through Debenham (11.56am) and Eye (12.14pm) to Diss (at 12.25pm).

From Diss, the route across Norfolk will take riders through Wymondham (1.00pm), Reepham (1.35pm), Litcham (2.08pm) and Gayton (2.30pm), to the finishing line at the Sandringham estate visitor centre (2.46pm). All the timings are approximate.

Jane Storey, deputy leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing The Tour of Britain back to Suffolk. The spectacle of the tour working its way through Suffolk’s wonderful landscapes will showcase our county to visitors from across the UK and around the world. Last year, the tour added to Suffolk’s already thriving �1.75bn tourism industry by bringing in millions of pounds of extra trade. We plan to build on that.”

Andy Wood, chief executive of Southwold-based Adnams, added: “This is a prestigious event which will undoubtedly boost tourism in our region. We congratulate Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils for working together to make it happen.”