Stage two of Women’s Tour cycle race to run from Braintree to Clacton via Suffolk

Details of the route for the second stage of this year’s Friends Life Women’s Tour have been unveiled today.

The top women’s cycling event in Britain takes place on Thursday June 18.

Race organisers had already revealed the course would take the professional riders from Braintree to Clacton.

Now the full 85.8 mile route has been released it shows the riders will pedal from Braintree up to Sudbury via Halstead, before making their way past Hadleigh and East Bergholt.

The peloton will then re-enter Essex at Manningtree before winding its way to Kirby Cross via Mistley and Great Oakley.

Riders will then head towards Colchester, taking in Elmstead Market, Alresford, Thorrington before heading through West Clacton to finish on the sea front, as they did last year.

Sprints will be held at Elm Tree Avenue, Kirby-le-Soken, and at Great Bentley green, with a Queen of the Mountains climb at Thorrington.

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Braintree District Council (BDC) has said it is delighted to host the start of a stage, especially after the Tour de France passed through the district last year.

The stage will begin in Market Square at 10am.

Jo Beavis, councillor for people and participation, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be hosting the Stage Two start, and to be able once more to invite the world’s top cyclists to race through our district.

“The Friends Life Women’s Tour route will take in the fantastic scenery of our towns and villages, bringing elite international sport right to our doorsteps, and we’re sure the crowds that line the route will give all the competitors an enthusiastic welcome.

“It’s a privilege to be able to see some of the very best women athletes competing in a major event in our district, and we hope it will prove an inspiring and unforgettable occasion for everyone who comes out to enjoy it.

“We know from the effect of the Tour de France that these events give great exposure to our district as a destination for tourism and leisure, and it’s clear we have a lot to offer to visitors seeking something different.”

The first stage of the race runs from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh the previous day.

Race director Mick Bennett added: “Following on from stage one held just up the road in Suffolk this will be another great opportunity for fans in Essex and Suffolk to again get up close to the world’s top riders.

“We are looking forward to visiting a new venue in Braintree, and working with BDC to make it a memorable occasion and one which we hope will inspire future generations of cyclists from the town and surrounding area.”

Stage three of last year’s tour finished in Clacton, while the final stage began in Dovercourt.

Mick Page, leader of Tendring District Council (TDC), said: “The very day the stage finished in Clacton last time we committed to get involved again in 2015 and we have kept that promise.

“It brought the cream of the world’s women cyclists to Tendring producing first class competitive action on our roads, it boosted the local economy by around £600,000 and put the district on the map in a world-wide sporting context.”

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