Suffolk: Tour of Britain route revealed for cycle race with start in Bury St Edmunds

SUFFOLK will once again play host to the biggest professional bike race in Britain, it was announced today.

Riders in the Tour of Britain will, for the second year in a row, enjoy the county’s beautiful countryside as they compete against each other in the penultimate stage of the race.

They will set off from the Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds on the morning of Saturday, September 17, travelling 60 miles through some of Suffolk’s most picturesque scenery and villages, before heading into Norfolk to do roughly the same distance again ahead of an iconic finish on the Sandringham Estate.

Suffolk County Council has worked with its counterparts in Norfolk to bring the race back to the region, which last year drew around 120,000 spectators to the road sides and brought an estimated �2.5million to the area.

Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader, said the race would be a good way of showcasing the county’s attractions to visitors from around the world as television coverage is broadcast in more than 100 countries.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing the Tour of Britain back to Suffolk,” she said. “Last year, the tour added to Suffolk’s already thriving �1.75billion tourism industry by bringing in millions of pounds of extra trade. We plan to build on that this year.

“The tour also acts as an inspiration to support our campaign to get 25,000 more people more active by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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“More than 100 of the world’s top athletes will be in Suffolk to inspire us, and the county council is working hard with its partners to bring the excitement of the event to local people, especially to young people, and to get Suffolk active.”

The September 17 stage of the tour will be sponsored by Southwold-based Adnams, and the brewery’s chief executive Andy Wood also welcomed the news.

“Adnams is absolutely delighted to be named the official beer of the Tour of Britain and to be headline sponsor for the Suffolk and Norfolk stage,” said Mr Wood.

“This is a prestigious event which will undoubtedly boost tourism in our region. We congratulate Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils for working together to make it happen.”

The council will be working with Suffolk Sport, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Babergh District Council to get the most out of hosting the tour, with thousands of visitors and residents expected to flock to the county to line the route and watch the world’s top cyclists – including Olympic, World and Commonwealth champions – compete for the yellow jersey.

But local cyclists can also get a taste of the race with a Prostate Cancer Charity tour ride taking place along the same route on Sunday, July 24. Around 2,000 keen amateurs are expected to register to take part.

Colchester will also play host to a top street race on June 2, when profession and semi-professional teams will race around a closed-off section of the town centre in the Halfords’ Tour.

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