Women’s Tour to return to Bury St Edmunds with 100 world class cyclists kicking off the first stage in June
- Credit: Archant
The women’s cycling tour is returning to Bury St Edmunds this year, with the town hosting the start of the entire event.
The 2015 Friends Life Women’s Tour will see 100 of the world’s top female cyclists come to the town on June 17.
The move has been welcomed by the chief executive of the town’s Business Improvement District (BID), Mark Cordell.
He told the EADT: “I am absolutely delighted. It was a fabulous event last year when we hosted the finish.
“Many of our businesses will benefit from the footfall, especially the cafés.
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“The organisers must have been delighted with how we hosted the event last year.”
The town has previously held the men’s event in 2011, the Tour of Britain, when the likes of Mark Cavendish set off from Angel Hill.
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“I think Suffolk as a whole and in particular Bury is now being recognised as being very supportive to these types of events,” added Mr Cordell.
He also felt the town could create a legacy from sporting events of this scale.
He said: “From a business perspective, the legacy could help to make the town centre more cycle friendly. Better cycle paths and cycle storage would be welcome.
“I still have the desire for the town to adopt some form of (cycle hire) ‘Boris Bikes’ scheme.”
The Women’s Tour is Britain’s first standalone female event of its kind, with its inaugural event held last year.
The opening stage will start at Angel Hill, before winding its way around Suffolk, and finishing at the coastal town of Aldeburgh.
Last year the Dutch cycling-supremo Marianne Vos won the tour with a win on Angel Hill, with 10,000 visitors watching on.
Sara Mildmay-White, Deputy Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “I am delighted that this world class event will be returning to Bury.
“Watching athletes at the top of their sport is exhilarating. I hope it is also inspirational and many more women will be persuaded of the benefits of getting on their bikes.”