Region eagerly awaits the arrival of world's top cycling talent
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The Women's Tour arrives in the region today with some of the world's best cyclists hitting the streets of Suffolk and north Essex - and bringing a £1million-plus bonus to the economy.
The prestigious event showcases some of the best cycling talent from across the globe with riders this year including Elisa Balsamo who won gold at the Road Cycling World Championships.
The event had been planned to take place locally in 2020 but was pushed back back because of the pandemic.
Our region is hosting the final two stages of the race, after it began earlier this week in Bicester, with the competition already hotting up for the prized blue jersey.
The race will start in Colchester at around 11.30am on Friday with cyclists heading through the likes of Holland-on-Sea and Manningtree before arriving at the finish in Clacton-on-Sea at around 2.20pm.
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The sixth and final stage of the race takes place in Suffolk starting in Haverhill at 11am on Saturday going through Sudbury, Needham Market and Woodbridge before finishing in Felixstowe around 3.20pm.
In the past, the tour has provided a real economic boost to the region of an estimate £1 million with fans set to flock in once more to watch their favourite stars.
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Stuart Keeble, director of public health at Suffolk County Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the final stage of this year’s Women’s Tour race, welcoming the world’s top cyclists to our fantastic county.
“Suffolk’s 2019 race stage attracted an estimated 44,000 spectators and modelling from organisers suggests it could have contributed £1.1 million to the county’s economy.
“Incorporating small changes into our lives such as substituting walking or cycling for a car journey not only help us feel healthier and happier but also supports the wider Suffolk economy through reduced congestion and less days sick.”
As well as being the final ending stage, Felixstowe will host its own special festival over the weekend, Felixfest, with a number of free events being held including a triathlon.