Towns prepare for Women's Tour cycling bonanza

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ - 14/06/2019 - Cycling - OVO Energy Women's Tour, Stage 5: Lland

Two times Women's Tour winner Lizzie Deignan of Trek Segafredo comes over the finish line - Credit: Alex Whitehead/

Colchester will welcome the riders of the Women’s Tour elite cycling race for the first time as Essex holds a stage of the event alongside Suffolk this year.

Organisers SweetSpot Group has announced that Stage 5 of the prestigious event will take place on Friday, October 8.

The riders will race from Colchester to Clacton, which is hosting the race for the third time and planning a range of events to connect it with the resort's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The six-stage race will end in Suffolk the following day, Saturday, October 9, with a gruelling cross-county ride from Haverhill to the finish line in Felixstowe.

Theresa Higgins, Colchester Borough Council portfolio holder for commercial services, said: “As a keen cyclist I am delighted with our success in attracting such a high-profile, global event to Colchester. 

Jolien D'Hoore wins the first stage of the OVO energy Women's Tour 2018 in Southwold

The Women's Tour cycling race is still set to come to Suffolk this year - Credit: NICK BUTCHER

"As well as giving the town a huge commercial boost, it will no doubt inspire people of every age and ability to get on their bikes and enjoy the cycle lanes and open spaces in and around our borough.”

David King, portfolio holder for business and resources, said the race would bring a big boost to the town's economy.

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He said: "This spectacular event will attract many visitors to Colchester to watch the elite riders race through the town and will showcase our outstanding new cycling  facilities at the Northern Gateway Sports Park – not least the fully floodlit one-mile cycle track, pump track and learn to ride facility.”

In 2015, the race generated £1.3million for the economy in Clacton.

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Alex Porter, Tendring District Council cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “It is always a pleasure to have the Women’s Tour come to the Essex Sunshine Coast, and with our beautiful countryside and coastline we can provide a stunning backdrop for this top cycling race.

The Aviva Women's tour passing through Beccles,PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Aviva Women's tour passing through Beccles,PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

“There is an incredible atmosphere along the route, especially at the finish line, and I am really looking forward to having the race come back to Clacton – particularly in the town’s 150th anniversary year, when there is so much going on.”

During this year's race - from October 4-9 - SweetSpot Group and British Cycling will celebrate the unsung heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The organisations will work together, as a part of their ongoing relationship, to engage with the ever-growing cycling community in the UK this summer.  Ride for Heroes will honour and celebrate the often unnoticed and underappreciated work of key workers and community champions since March 2020 at each stage start and finish venue.

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