Flags, window displays - and a man on his static bike - all ready for Tour
PUBLISHED: 15:15 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:00 07 September 2017
Suffolk towns and villages along the route of this year's Tour of Britain cycle race are gearing up for Friday's stage six spectacle in their own unique ways.
Some of the world’s best riders will hurtle across the county from Newmarket to Aldeburgh for the 183km leg of the OVO Energy Tour – passing Eye, Framlingham, Kesgrave, Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Leiston.
In Woodbridge, independent family-run cycle shop Hasnip’s loaned bikes to other business for display in their windows.
Woodbridge Emporium came second to Wickham Market’s Inspirations in Suffolk Coastal District Council’s window dressing competition.
With the lead riders expected to hit the edge of town just before 2.30pm, spectators can grab lunch before watching the tour pass The Anchor pub and Riverside restaurant in Station Road, or Red Lion in The Thoroughfare.
James Lightfoot, chairman of business and tourism association Choose Woodbridge, said: “Woodbridge is the place to come to eat, drink and watch the tour go past. After that, visit our cycle shop, Hasnips, in Church Street, and other wonderful shops – many with window displays.”
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council chairman Lesley Hill said the town was excited for the arrival of the race, and that a group of volunteers had worked hard to enthuse residents.
She added: “This provides a great opportunity for our local economy.”
In Framlingham, Bill Bulstrode, of Bulstrodes home, lifestyle and fun shop, said: “The town has the Suffolk flags flying throughout; Framlingham College has put bunting along College Road and the primary school will have the flags of all the nationalities of the riders flying on the fence.”
Pete Gudde will hope to match the professionals by cycling from 10.45am-4pm on a static bike at the entrance to St Mary’s Church, Thornham Parva, near Eye.
He said: “I’ve done a couple of distance challenges over the last few years but, on the road, you can sometimes free wheel.
“On my static bike, you just have to keep pedalling, so it’s going to be tough.
“I’ll try to cover the same distance as the pros. I doubt that I’ll do it all but I will try my very best. Let’s see how far across the county I can get.”
Mr Gudde will fundraise for St Nicholas Hospice and re-thatching the church’s roof ridge.