Leading cyclists to set town buzzing

EXCITEMENT is building as some of the world’s top cyclists arrive in Suffolk for a leg of the Tour of Britain.

Streets in Bury St Edmunds were expected to be buzzing as around 10,000 people gather to cheer the riders on as they set off from the historic town centre to cycle through stunning Suffolk countryside.

Peter Hodges, a spokesman for the tour, said: “I am sure there will be a great atmosphere.

“We have never been to Bury before but we are really looking for it.”

Spinning taster sessions, biking challenges and live music got the party started in the town’s Abbey Gardens in a day of activities yesterday.

But flags and music will create a carnival atmosphere this morning as 96 racers from 17 pro teams gear up for their journey, which will take them through Wickhambrook, Haverhill, Clare and Long Melford.

A podium has been set up on Angel Hill to present riders with their jerseys before setting off on the 94-mile route at 10.15am.

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“We have had great crowds so far,” Mr Hodges said. “We hope there will be a carnival atmosphere.”

Cycling fans can pose with riders and get autographs from the elite teams ahead of the demanding leg, which will be led off by 100 community members and children from schools in the town.

“Starting on Angel Hill with the Angel Hotel in the background is going to be great,” Mr Hodges said.

The teams will set off towards Foxearth then swinging through Sudbury before tackling Ballingdon Hill towards Braintree and Tiptree then dipping down for a sprint finish in Colchester.

The punishing tour has already swept across country, setting off from Rochdale on Friday in the first stage, which was won by Andre Greipel.

The longest leg of the tour was yesterday’s King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth section, also won by Greipel.

“We really hope people come along and support us in the towns as we go along,” Mr Hodges said.

There will be full event coverage tomorrow on www.eadt.co.uk and in Saturday’s EADT.

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