Ipswich: Final round of women’s cycle race in Ipswich is scrapped

The launch of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series was launched in Ipswich last month. From L-R: Elite cyclis

The launch of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series was launched in Ipswich last month. From L-R: Elite cyclist Jamie Caldwell, Ipswich Mayor Mary Blake, and Emma Hibbert (Adnams) on the rollerdrome. - Credit: Archant

THE final round of a prestigious women’s cycle race, which was due to be held in Ipswich, has been scrapped.

Organisers said a clash in the elite women’s racing calendar forced the change in the location of the final round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series next month.

The last day of the series, which will feature Britain’s top professional cycling teams, will now be held in Redditch, Worcestershire, instead of Ipswich.

Organisers SweetSpot say the change has been necessitated by “the incredible success of women’s cycling and the growth in the number of women’s only events”.

The original programme would have seen competitors racing in Aylsham, Norfolk, on June 13, followed by a finale in Ipswich 24 hours later.

However, with a two-day national elite women’s event taking place in Blackpool on June 15-16, competitors would have faced four straight days of racing with a long overnight journey in between.

A SweetSpot spokesman said: “This decision has been made in the interests of the competitors and Ipswich remains totally committed to the development of women’s cycling.

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“It is hoped that in 2014 the calendar can be adjusted to ensure that a women’s race returns to Ipswich.

“After discussions between all stakeholders, Suffolk County Council has very kindly agreed that the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series event scheduled for Ipswich will now be replaced by further events for the elite professional male cyclists who will be racing at Ipswich as a part of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.

“Details of this exciting additional event will be announced in the coming weeks.”

The men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series, supported by Adnams, gets underway in Scotland on Tuesday and will finish in Ipswich on Friday, June 14, bringing the action and excitement of professional cycle racing back to Suffolk.

The women’s Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series starts a week later in Stoke-on-Trent on May 21.

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