Cycling fans flock to Clacton to watch stage 5 of the Tour of Britain
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Clacton today as top class cyclists raced against the clock during the Tour of Britain.
Stage five of the race saw people across the county descend on the town, bringing an estimated £600,000 to the local economy.
Suffolk authorities hope the boost will be replicated with tomorrow’s stage across the county.
Sisters Rosie Curtis and Jean Clydesdale, of Clacton, said it was yet another great event in the town this year.
Mrs Clydesdale said: “My son is a big fan but he couldn’t be here so I’m here to get a programme and autograph for him from Mark Cavendish and Alex Dowsett.
“It really is just superb for Clacton. Everyone just needs to come down and see how lovely this place is and events like this really show that.”
Fans lined the ten-mile time trial route out to Great Holland and back to catch a glimpse of their sporting heroes.
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None were cheered as hard as Mark Cavendish or Essex boy Alex Dowsett, who gave his fans a wave just before he set off on the course.
Speaking after his tenth place finish, he told the East Anglian Daily Times it had been an incredibly special moment to race in his home county.
He said: “It was amazing to have that support and for people to be shouting your name is very special.
“I’m happy with my performance. To be sitting in the top ten with these riders is brilliant.”
Paul Power, of Wickford, and dad Stephen Power, of East Ham, London, had travelled specifically to see the two cyclists.
Paul, 33, said: “I saw the Tour de France back in 2014 and it was really special and when I saw this was coming up I knew I had to come.
“So I got the day off work and came here because it is so close to home.
“I cycle myself actually around Chelmsford and I see Alex Dowsett quite often when I go round. I always give him a wave and he always waves back.
“I’m hoping he and Mark Cavendish get good times.”
Stage winner Lars Boom took the trophy with 19 minutes 3 seconds and became the overall leader going into tomorrow’s stage six, which races across Suffolk from Newmarket to Aldeburgh.
The riders set out at 10.45am, and are expected to arrive at the finish at around 3pm.