Riders to enjoy the high points and fast life as they race across Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 12:42 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:47 05 May 2019
Suffolk may not be renowned for its hills and high points, but the world's elite women's cyclists will still face two mountain climbs as they race across the county.
Details have been announced of the two SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs the 96 riders will tackle and the three intermediate Eisberg Sprints they will contest on the 157.6-kilometre (98-mile) route between Beccles and Stowmarket on June 10.
Action will get underway in the centre of Beccles, with the riders representing 16 teams setting off at 10.30am, with the finish on Ipswich Road in Stowmarket expected between 2.30pm and 3.10pm.
The first intermediate Eisbeg Sprint will come after 98km or around two hours of racing outside the entrance to RAF Honington, near Ixworth.
The day's second Eisberg Sprint is then not long after at Fornham St Martin, on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds, while riders will also contest a third Eisberg Sprint as they race through Stowmarket for the first time, before tackling a 12km finishing circuit.
The two SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs are in the second half of the stage – the first at Little Whelnetham after almost 125km, while the second comes with just over six km of racing remaining at Buxhall, giving riders the opportunity for a late attack to try and steal victory in Stowmarket.
Dr Amanda Jones, Suffolk County Council director of public health, said: “The sprints and climbs announced today demonstrate the exciting route we have planned and the many fantastic locations for spectators to catch the action.
“The Women's Tour and events like it provide an excellent opportunity to showcase Suffolk to an international audience, while encouraging communities across the county to get on their bikes, get active and help us to make Suffolk the most active county in England.
“Being active has real social, physical and mental health benefits and I hope that this year's race inspires even more people to take up cycling and take part in the wide range of events Suffolk has to offer, as part of an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Paul Wood, head of economic development and regeneration at East Suffolk Council, said: “We're looking forward to welcoming the OVO Energy Women's Tour back to East Suffolk, especially as Beccles will be hosting the Grand Depart for the first time.
“The event is a great opportunity for our communities and local businesses to get involved and help showcase our beautiful area to a national audience.”
In its four previous visits to Suffolk, the OVO Energy Women's Tour is estimated to have attracted 250,000-plus spectators to the roadside and created a net economic impact for the county's economy of over £3.5million.
Following Stage One in Suffolk, the OVO Energy Women's Tour will feature stages in Kent, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, before the final two days of racing in Wales.