When and where to see the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Suffolk and road closure details

The first stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour at Southwold in 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

The first stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour at Southwold in 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Major cycling event the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is setting out from Suffolk for the second year running today. Where can you see it and cheer on the riders?

When and where will the Tour start?

The first stage of the race will set off from New Market in Beccles at 10.30am on Monday, June 10, but the fun is starting at 8.30am.

Thousands of spectators are expected to visit the start. Pupils from schools in the town will welcome the teams on to the podium when they sign on before the stage begins, and there will be community stands in New Market and Sheepgate.

Local school pupils, cycling club members and local business staff will also take part in a lead-out ride ahead of stage one.

Jolien D'Hoore wins the first stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour in Southwold in 2018.
Picture: N

Jolien D'Hoore wins the first stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour in Southwold in 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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When and where can you see the race?

The first stage, going through Suffolk, covers 157.6km between Beccles and Stowmarket.

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Timings will vary depending on how the race is contested, as well as the weather conditions, but these are the earliest times the cyclists are expected to reach towns and villages:

Halesworth: 11.03am; Walpole: 11.09am; Sibton: 11.15am; Framlingham: 11.34am; Dennington: 11.40am; Brundish: 11.48am; Wilby: 11.51am; Stradbroke: 11.55am; Horham: 11.59am; Eye: 12.10pm; Stoke Ash: 12.19pm; Thornham Magna: 12.21pm; Gislingham: 12.26pm; Finningham: 12.31pm; Walsham le Willows: 12.38pm; Badwell Ash: 12.42pm; Hunston: 12.45pm; Stowlangtoft: 12.47pm; Ixworth: 12.53pm; Honington: 1pm; Ingham: 1.16pm; Fornham St Martin: 1.22pm; Bury St Edmunds: 1.24pm; Nowton: 1.37pm; Sicklesmere: 1.39pm; Little Welnetham: 1.41pm; Bradfield St George: 1.45pm; Felsham: 1.52pm; Rattlesden: 1.57pm; Stowmarket: 2.09pm; Finish line in Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, 2.28pm.

Large crowds at the finish line in Southwold for the first stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour in 2

Large crowds at the finish line in Southwold for the first stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour in 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

For a full timetable of when the Tour is expected to reach each place on the route, see the Tour website. When and where will roads be closed?

There will be a "rolling road closure" during the race. Tour organisers say this means that roads on and around the race route will be closed for a short period while the race passes by - usually around 10 to 15 minutes around the estimated time of arrival. The route will be marked with yellow advance warning signs in the run-up to The Tour.

These specific closures and parking suspensions have been announced:

- Beccles: Road closures and parking suspensions: From 0.01am on Sunday to 3pm on Monday: New Market. From 0.01 am to 3pm on Monday: Saltgate; The Walk; Market Street; Sheepgate; New Market and Ballygate.

- Sibton: Parking suspensions: From 8am to 2pm on Monday: The Street; Hackney Road. 'No waiting' cones will be in place from Sunday afternoon.

- Framlingham: Parking suspensions: From 8.30am to 12.30pm on Monday: Castle Street; Church Street; Bridge Street; Well Close Square; College Road. 'No waiting' cones will be in place from Sunday morning.

- Stowmarket: Parking suspensions: Ipswich Road car park will be closed for the event and Milton Road car park has limited availability.

What is the weather forecast for the race day?

There is a yellow warning for rain on the day, with the Met Office predicting "heavy prolonged rainfall" and warning of potential for flooding. The Women's Tour organisers say there are no plans to change the route or timing, but they are monitoring the situation closely.

Read more - Women's Tour to go ahead as planned despite yellow weather warning for rainHow many cyclists are taking part and what famous names are involved?

There will be 96 starters in the race, representing 22 different nationalities. Top names expected to take part include all five former Women's Tour winners, Marianne Vos, Lisa Brennauer, Lizzie Deignan, Kasia Niewiadoma and Coryn Rivera, as well as many other leading cyclists. There is a prize fund of £80,000 up for grabs.

The whole race will cover six stages, a day longer than in previous years, finishing on June 15.

What are the stages of the race in Suffolk?

There will be Eisberg sprints at RAF Honington, Fornham St Martin and at the finish line in Ipswich Road, Stowmarket. There will also be SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs in Little Welnetham and on Purple Hill in Stowmarket.

What tie-in community events are being organised?

- Beccles: A Cycling Festival is being held from noon to 4pm today (Sunday), including live music, stunt bike displays, a food market and visits from some competing teams in the race.

- Thornham Magna: The village bowls club will be open from 11.45am on race day, and guests can enjoy tea and biscuits before watching the riders come through.

- Walsham le Willows: Walsham Sports Club is organising a special day with free taster sessions of walking netball. You can turn up and play walking netball at 10am, with brunch at 11am, and transport to viewing points to watch the race at 12.30pm, before a return to the club for Pimms at 2pm.

- Stowmarket: A fundraising lawn event for Breast Cancer Care is being held at Stowmarket Town Council offices from 11.30am to 1.30pm. There will be a range of activities including smoothie bikes, a bike sale with cakes, a scented flower wall and arts and crafts.

From 12 noon, the Regal Cinema will be showing free screenings of Stanley's War and Life on the Deben, with no need to book - just turn up. There will also be a free screening of How to Train Your Dragon at 3.45pm. Seats need to be booked in advance for this film.

- Stradbroke: Celebrations at the Community Centre will continue into the evening, with a free evening of fun and food, including a puppet theatre, scooters and barbecue food.

- Eye: Open Air Cinema. There will be a free screening of The Greatest Showman at Eye Community Centre playing field at 6.30pm, with the bar open from 6pm. For more details call Eye Community Centre on 01379 873475.

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