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Norfolk’s section of its Tour of Britain stage is revealed for the first time

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:37 19 June 2015

Riders on the Tour of Britain power through the Norfolk village of Mattishall in 2012. Photograph Simon Parker

Riders on the Tour of Britain power through the Norfolk village of Mattishall in 2012. Photograph Simon Parker

Archant

Towns, villages and communities are being urged to get behind the Tour of Britain as the full route of the Norfolk stage is revealed for the first time.

The UK’s biggest professional bicycle race will return to the county for the first time since 2012 on September 12.

As reported, the race will start at Fakenham Racecourse and will take in Reepham, Aylsham, Norwich, Wymondham, Attleborough and Thetford.

Now, as East Anglia bids farewell to this year’s Women’s Tour, the EDP can exclusively give details of the exact route the colourful peloton will take.

Villages including Guist, Bawdeswell, Hevingham, Horsford, Hethersett, Spooner Row and East Harling will all get to see the riders as they snake their way through the county as part of the 225km Norfolk and Suffolk stage.

The race, which marks the seventh and penultimate leg of this year’s Tour, will end in Ipswich.

Ben Jones, director of Active Norfolk, said: “We’re so excited that the Tour is coming back through, and taking in, so many parts of the county in September.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for us to show the rest of the world (who will all be tuning in on TV) what we already know; that Norfolk is a great place to live and to visit.

“The city, towns, villages and communities across the county always get right behind major events like the Tour of Britain and we can’t wait to see spectators lining the streets and getting involved in all the activities and other cycle-related events happening in addition to the race itself.”

The 2011 and 2012 editions of the UK’s most popular free-to-watch live sporting event brought an economic boost of more than £3m to Norfolk and Suffolk.

Its last visit to the two counties, which came shortly after the London 2012 Olympic Games, saw some 150,000 people line the streets to cheer on their cycling heroes.

Organisers hope, that with the ever-increasing popularity of cycling, people will turn out in those numbers yet again.

Richard Bearman, vice chair of the communities committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “This route will showcase Norfolk’s diversity, including the historic city of Norwich, its pretty villages and market towns and the stunning natural landscape.

“Children and adults from dozens of communities will have the chance to line the route and cheer on some of the world’s top cyclists as they race through their local streets, and get involved in activities and events being held to coincide with the Tour. In previous years we’ve had tremendous local support for this world-class sporting event and I hope this year is no different.”

Stuart Clancy, Broadland District Council’s portfolio holder for economic development, added: “It’s a great opportunity for residents along the route to see the riders close up. It’s amazing being there when they come past. The speed these elite athletes can achieve is fantastic.

“The riders might pass by in a matter of minutes but the festival atmosphere when everyone gets involved can make it a great day out for everyone.”

This year’s event is sponsored nationally by Aviva and has been brought to the region by Norfolk and Suffolk county councils, Active Norfolk, Adnams, district councils and Norwich City Council.

Teams set to take part in the Tour will be revealed closer to the time. Previous competitors have included Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Keep up to date in your newspaper and on the Summer of Cycling section on our website.

Do you have a cycling story? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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