Suffolk and Norfolk ready to host first stage of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wed

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wednesday 25th May. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Some of the best female cyclists in the world visited Suffolk yesterday as preparations for next month’s Aviva Women’s Tour.

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wed

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wednesday 25th May. Pro riders Rebecca Durrell and Laura Massey. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The tour will come to the county for the third time this summer when riders cycle from Southwold to Norwich on Wednesday, June 15.

Yesterday professional riders including Laura Massey and Rebecca Durrell from the Drops Cycling Team experienced part of the route planned for stage one, as they cycled from the Swan Hotel in Southwold to the Angel Hotel in Halesworth.

The 132km (82 mile) route will start in Southwold at 10am and takes in the picturesque Suffolk coast and countryside before crossing the border into Norfolk between Beccles and Harleston.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, Tony Goldson, said: “We are growing quite an association with the tour and we are proud to host the opening stage in the beautiful Suffolk countryside.

“Building on the success of Suffolk’s Year of Cycling in 2015 I know this event will be well supported by the communities along the stage route and the event provides our communities with a welcome boost for the county’s tourism and business sector.”

Fourteen of the world’s top 17 teams will be on the start line in Southwold as the stage in the Aviva Women’s Tour, is also the first European stage race of the 2016 UCI Women’s World Tour.

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Marketing Director for Adnams, Emma Hibbert said: “We are delighted to welcome the Women’s Tour to our home in Southwold.

“I’m sure there will be a terrific turn out from Southwold residents and visitors as the world’s top female cyclists set out from Southwold Pier, through the Adnams Brewery yard onto Southwold High Street.

“Cycling continues to gain in popularity, as a sport and as a leisure pastime and plays an important part in the tourism strategy for our region.”

Aviva Women’s Tour race director Mick Bennett said: “We would like to thank Suffolk County Council and Adnams for their support of the Aviva Women’s Tour as we prepare for what will undoubtedly be the best edition of the race yet.

“We have a fantastic line-up of teams and a challenging route through some of the most picturesque locations in England.

“That we start from the beautiful location of Southwold is entirely fitting.”

Timings for stage one of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour

The Women’s Tour sets off from Southwold at 10am.

They are then expected to pass through:

- Halesworth at 10.30am

- Lowestoft at 11.15am

- Beccles at 11.40am

- Harleston at 12.15pm

- Attleborough at 1pm

The first riders are expected to reach Norwich at 2pm.

-More information on the tour and details of stage one can be found at www.womenstour.co.uk/stages

The Aviva Women’s Tour is brought to Norfolk for the first time through a partnership between Active Norfolk, Adnams, South Norfolk Council, Breckland Council, Norwich City Council, and Norwich Business Improvement District.