Wymondham rolls out the red carpet for the Tour of Britain

Excitement is building for the start of the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain, which hits south Norfolk's roads at the weekend.

The country's biggest sporting spectator event will return to the region with a 200km race on Saturday that will start in Bury St Edmunds and will come through Wymondham on its way to the finish at the Sandringham Estate in west Norfolk.

Communities along the route are staging a host of events to celebrate the Tour and anticipation is building for the race, which will feature a host of well-known riders including Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish.

Last year's Norfolk stage saw an estimated 130,000 people on the streets, which gave a multi-million pound boost to the county's economy.

The section between Diss and Wymondham will be a sprint stage and the riders are expected to arrive in the town centre between 1pm and 1.30pm after speeding through Bunwell and Spooner Row.

They will then pass along Market Street, Middleton Street, Cock Street, Melton Road and Tuttles Lane on their way to Barnham Broom.

Poetry busking will take place in the town during the day as part of the Wymondham Words festival and there will be a farmers' market in the Market Place.

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Neil Ward, Wymondham mayor and district councillor, said: 'Outside of the Olympics, in British cycling, the Tour is as big as it gets. We are all geared up and ready for the riders sweeping through our beautiful district and into this great and historic market town.'

'It will be standing room only as residents and visitors cheer the Tour cyclists on. There will be a party atmosphere with businesses and shops open, and bunting and banners. It's going to be a fantastic day.'

Trevor Gurney, Wymondham town clerk, added: 'I think there is an anticipation in the town and it is quite novel. Hopefully there will be a good number of people in the town, which will have an added benefit for the traders on the day.'

The Bell Inn at Barnham Broom will be holding a family fun day with bouncy castle and bouncy slide and a chinese and thai barbecue. There will also be a beer festival.

There will be a host of free activities in Diss Park between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Saturday, including a bouncy castle, face painting, giant games, circus skills and music from the Bloco Rabo De Foguete Brazilian street band Brazilian street band.

Keith Weeks, South Norfolk Council's tourism champion, added: 'The eyes of the world will be on South Norfolk as camera crews follow the riders. People will see that this is one of the best places to live, work and visit in the country and I want to thank the thousands of residents who we expect to line the route on the day for their fantastic support.'