By RICHARD WOOD
Saturday, December 29, 2012
The sight of now knighted Sir Bradley Wiggins and former world road race champion Mark Cavendish cycling through Suffolk in September is estimated to have given the county a boost of more than £1m.
An estimated 180,000 people took to the road sides in Norfolk and Suffolk to watch the Tour of Britain on September 9, and Suffolk County Council has estimated that the race gave a £1.1m economic boost to Suffolk alone.
The council estimated that the tour brought a £850,000 boost to Suffolk last year, with 150,000 watching the East Anglia stage of the race, and boosted by the summer cycling successes, it is thought this year was an even greater success.
Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member responsible for sport, said: “I am delighted to see such an increase in the number of people taking an interest in the Tour of Britain here in Suffolk.
“The increase in economic benefit that the Tour has brought to the county will have made a really positive impact on tourism and our local hospitality industry.”
An estimated 11,000 people turned out across Waveney on September 9 to watch the Tour of Britain wind its way through Westleton, Reydon, South Cove, Wrentham, Henstead, Kessingland, Pakefield, Lowestoft, Oulton, Flixton and Lound as part of the first stage of the race from Ipswich to Norwich.
The first stage was won by Team Sky’s Luke Rowe after his team-mate Mark Cavendish was involved in a crash 1km from the finish at the Royal Norfolk Showground.
The tour was ultimately won by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.
A survey carried also revealed that in Suffolk more than 85pc of those asked said the race was very enjoyable while more than 70pc said they were inspired to cycle more regularly.
Last year the Tour of Britain brought a £3m boost to the whole East Anglia economy.