Video/Gallery: Hundreds unite in celebration of sport and community as Ipswich stages 2013 Pearl Izumi Tour Series final
- Credit: Archant
Olympic champions and budding youngsters united in a celebration of sport and community as hundreds lined the streets for the final of Britain’s leading cycling race this evening.
Ipswich was promised a day of family fun and thrilling sporting action – and organisers of the 2013 Pearl Izumi Tour Series final did not let anyone down.
It was all bright lights and bewildering sounds as the town centre gave way to an outdoor sports arena. Ipswich was awash with intrigue, Twitter flooded with updates.
“Come on, we have to go, or we’ll miss our table at the restaurant,” one woman said to her husband, who showed little eagerness in leaving his spot.
Pockets of keen followers, clearly distinguishable in the crowds by their biker kits, trained their cameras on the zipping action, unfurling signs in support of their chosen hero.
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Those new to road racing, out to see what all the fuss was about, wandered around the 1.2km circuit, leaning over the barricades for closer inspection, visiting the Adnams boat bar near the finish line, soaking up the atmosphere.
One prime vantage point was the so-called “double-bend” at Giles Circus, the makeshift pit-stop for the riders. “It’s the tightest bend on the course,” Ian Bareham, 46, of Cullingham Road, Ipswich, said.
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“It’s a great event, and puts a positive light on the town. They gave us the final, which was a nod to the council.”
Boo Dendy, 41, of Renfrew Road, Ipswich, said: “I suffer from Type-1 diabetes but cycling for three years has really improved my condition. I hope others are inspired to take up the sport – it was a brilliant event.”
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy, despite suffering a bloodied leg and nose from an apparent fall, took second place in the main race, the Pearl Izumi Tour Series – Round Eleven. Alex Peters took third, while Tom Scully was the victor.
But the real winner here was Ipswich.