Tour Of Britain Returns To Norfolk and Suffolk
18 March 2015, 05:45 | Updated: 18 March 2015, 05:49
The Tour of Britain is returning to East Anglia for the first time since 2012.
Stage Seven, on Saturday 12th September, will see British Cycling's premier road cycling event return to Norfolk and Suffolk for the first time since both counties hosted the Grand Depart.
It will also be the first time Suffolk has hosted a stage finish.
At 225-kilometres the stage is the longest of the 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain.
It will start at Fakenham Racecourse before heading south via Aylsham, Norwich city centre, Wymondham and Attleborough to Thetford, where it will cross into Suffolk.
Passing through Thetford Forest on its way to Bury St Edmunds the route will take in Stowmarket, Needham Market, Hadleigh and East Bergholt, before racing under the Orwell Bridge and into Ipswich town centre for the finish.
Emma Hibbert, Marketing Director of Adnams, the principal partners to the East Anglia stage said: "We are delighted that the Tour of Britain will be returning to Norfolk and Suffolk and Adnams is proud to continue to be the official beer of the race and sponsor of the East Anglian stage.
"We know that at every level, from recreational enthusiasts through to super fit club members, cycling is hugely popular with our customers throughout 'Adnams country' and beyond. With the Women's Tour, the Tour of Britain and Suffolk County Council's Year of Cycling, we have much two-wheeled activity to look forward to this year."
2015 will mark the fifth anniversary of Norfolk County Council having first hosted the Friends Life Tour of Britain, with Fakenham joining the likes of King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Sandringham in having hosted the race.
Paul Smyth, Chairman of the Communities Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: "In previous years the Tour of Britain has brought significant economic investment into Norfolk and proved to be a hugely popular event, so the race returning to the county is welcome news. We are the only east of England stage and as well as giving a boost to Norfolk's profile and businesses, it may also lead to increased cycling among residents, with consequent health benefits."
While Suffolk has hosted the men's Friends Life Tour of Britain on three occasions since 2010, Stage Seven will mark the first stage finish to be held in the county.
Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for health and adult care, said: "2015 promises to be a landmark year for cycling in Suffolk, with the recent launch of Suffolk's Year of Cycling, announcement that the Grand Depart of the Women's Tour will be in Suffolk on the 17th June and now the announcement that the Tour of Britain will be returning to the county for the first time since 2012.
"The spectacle of seeing our Olympic Champions race out of Ipswich in 2012 was inspirational and I have no doubt that the opportunity to watch the world's best cyclist's race into Ipswich for the finish of the penultimate stage of the 2015 Tour of Britain will create great excitement and draw huge crowds.
It is the combination of inspirational events, such as the Women's Tour and Tour of Britain, and cycling initiatives, such as Suffolk's Year of Cycling, that will help us to get more residents active through cycling and contributing to our ambition to make Suffolk the most active county in England. We would encourage everyone to "come along for the ride" in 2015"
Commenting on the announcement, Mick Bennett, Race Director of Friends Life Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot said: "We are pleased to be able to resume our partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk County Council's and return to an area where we know we can look forward to tremendous support at the roadside. In the past we have seen some of the race's biggest ever crowds in the two counties, so are sure this September will prove to be no different."
Further details of Stage Seven, including Ordnance Survey stage maps, will be announced in the Summer, along with details of the 20 competing teams.
The 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain will start in Wales for the first time in the modern race's history, with Anglesey hosting the start of the opening stage to Wrexham, finishing eight days later in the heart of London with an iconic new circuit taking in many of the capital's world famous sights.
Once again ITV will screen three-hours of live coverage of every stage, starting on ITV for the opening Wales stage before reverting to ITV4 for Stages Two to Eight. ITV4 will also screen a one-hour highlights programme each evening during the race.
The Friends Life Tour of Britain is British Cycling's premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world's best teams and riders competing on their door step.